Cybersecurity Insight

New Heat Map Tool Hopes to Fill Cybersecurity Jobs Gap

6 Nov

In the IT world the importance of cybersecurity is certainly not lost on anyone, from the app developer to the systems administrator. The problem is those with cybersecurity expertise are difficult to find. This problem has led to a massive hole in the cybersecurity job market, leaving some 230,000 jobs unfilled. Luckily, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, a branch of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working to fix that very issue.

The Initiative is in the process of building a heat map visualization tool that will show open cybersecurity positions across the United States. The hope is that by gathering data about cybersecurity jobs and showing a quick and easy visual representation of available positions will help to fill them more quickly.

They are working with research firm Burning Glass Technologies and partnering with the IT professional trade association CompTIA to actually develop the heat map tool.

Part of the problem that faces many organizations when it comes to cybersecurity is the fact they don’t have the right people in place, and too many jobs unfilled. It is estimated that the demand for cybersecurity expertise has doubled over the past five years, and most of those available jobs are going unfilled.

The other problem is letting people know about the open positions. It’s often difficult to advertise that you have job openings in your organization. While it may seem easy, many of the major job websites have thousands of jobs posted and many get lost in the noise.

This ultimately leads to poor cybersecurity initiatives across many organizations leaving customers, employees, and users vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Of course, we’re all familiar with the high profile cyber attacks of the past couple years including Home Depot, Target, and Sony. You would think these types of organizations would have little trouble filling cybersecurity jobs, but if anything this should tell you that cybersecurity expertise comes at a premium these days and again demand is at an all time high.

The heat map tool will help in a few ways. As we said earlier it will present a simple and easy way to find open cybersecurity positions by geographic location. Second, it will gather loads of data about these positions including job requirements, salary, and preferred education or certifications. This can help those looking for positions determine what they need to be a high-quality candidate. In the end this will provide a centralized way for people to find and fill these very important positions.

It is estimated the new heat map tool will be released around this time next year, and will continue development for two years after based on the initial grant given to CompTIA to fund the project. You can learn more about the project and read the Burning Glass analysis of the cybersecurity job market here.