Cybersecurity professionals can make $100k+ a year without a college degree
The United States has approximately 700,000 cybersecurity job openings. That’s creating a shortage of qualified personnel who can protect places like hospitals, 9-1-1 call centers, and schools from cyberattacks originating in places like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
Will Markow, Vice President, Lightcast: “We only have 69 skilled cybersecurity workers for every 100 that employers demand. This means we are stepping onto the digital battlefield missing nearly a third of our army.”
The shortage could get worse, 61 percent of employees in the field say they’re burned out from years of addressing major incidents. So the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection is working on a bipartisan basis to create a talent pipeline.
Chairman Andrew Garbarino (R-NY): “It is clear that the shortage of talent and burnout are issues that both the public and private sector face.”
During a hearing, the witnesses agreed that prospects don’t need a four year college degree, which according to the education data initiative now costs an average 35,000 a year including books, supplies, and daily living expenses. They hope that will be a selling point. A retired Marine Colonel who now works at a non-profit says his organization offers an eight month course for less than $15,000. When students complete their certification, they’re getting starting jobs that pay an average salary of 63,000 a year. With three years of experience, they can get a job that pays more than 100,000.
Rep. Gimenez: “I believe that that somehow this country, if you don’t have a college degree, you somehow stigmatize it somehow you may not be as smart as as somebody who has a college degree.”
In April, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified about the Bureau’s need to hire cybersecurity professionals. He is asking congress for 63 million dollars to hire 192 positions.
FBI Director Christopher Wray date: “To give you a sense of what we’re up against, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intel analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, Chinese hackers would still outnumber FBI Cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1,”
During the House hearing, one witness made a suggestion to help fix the shortage. Don’t require five years of experience and specialized endorsements for entry level jobs. Because that doesn’t match. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.