Nearly half of cybersecurity professionals are solicited to consider a job at a different company at least once a week, making for unstable jobs and an artificially inflated job market, according to a recent survey.

“Those that are employed are being solicited constantly,” said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “People go job shopping all the time or are being asked to job shop.”

Oltsik explained that this has a negative effect on organizations, as an already limited number of cybersecurity professionals end up getting moved too much to maintain constant practices.

The ESG and Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) survey titled “The State of Cyber Security Professional Careers” also found that many cybersecurity professionals get into the market because they want to use their skills to protect valuable IT assets, a “kind of good guys vs. bad guys” mentality, according to Oltsik.

“One of the responses is ‘I just want to save the world,’ ” said Candy Alexander, CISO and chief architect for the Cybersecurity Career Lifecycle at ISSA. This bodes well for Federal cybersecurity positions, as government leaders have said that those who choose to work for government often have patriotic motivations.

But the survey also found that a major determinant in job satisfaction is whether an employee is provided with competitive financial compensation, something that the government has struggled with compared with the private sector.

“That’s kind of the table stakes,” said Oltsik.

Survey results also pointed to a lack of training and development investments in many organizations, and many cybersecurity professionals said they did not have a defined career path.

“These conclusions point to the need for business, IT, and cybersecurity managers, academics, and public policy leaders to take note of today’s cybersecurity career morass and develop and promote more formal cybersecurity guidelines and frameworks that can guide cybersecurity professionals in their career development,” said Alexander.

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Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.