Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday July 26th 2017

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Wanted: Cybersecurity Professionals

By Duwayne Escobedo

Take a look at cybersecurity job postings and you will find plenty of jobs in every sector and in every area of cybersecurity specialty from ethical hacking and computer network defense to computer forensics and software security.

In fact, cyber-job postings are up 57 percent in professional services, manufacturing and defense from 2010 to 2014 and health care jobs jumped 118 percent, according to the Burning Glass report “Job Market Intelligence: Cybersecurity Jobs, 2015.”

Local cyber experts say plenty of high-paying jobs are available right here in the Northwest Florida region. Raytheon recently announced it plans to hire 140 cybersecurity professionals and CSRA needs 50.

Across North America, there are only 70,000 information security professionals to fill the demand for 400,000 cybersecurity jobs, TEK systems estimated.

“We have such a critical shortage that we’re getting our butts kicked,” said Robert Pratten, an assistant professor who heads the Pensacola State College Cybersecurity Center. “There are jobs out there. Cybersecurity is a broad field that can keep you comfortable for the rest of your life.”

PSC offers two-year and four-year cybersecurity degrees and certifications for its students and those already in IT, who want training to advance their careers in the cyber world.

The University of West Florida offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in cybersecurity and certificates in cybersecurity, intelligence analysis, and information security management.

Doug Underhill, CSRA manager of cybersecurity services and an Escambia County commissioner, helps run the local CyberThon contest and local chapter of the CyberPatriot program to entice young people to become “cyber nerds.”

“The challenge is how to challenge middle school students in Warrington to get on the first or second rung of the cybersecurity ladder so that they can be on their way to a six-figure job,” Underhill said. “We have to build our workforce of the future. You don’t start doing drugs when you’re inspired about a cybersecurity project or career.”

Randy Ramos, Global Business Solutions Inc. CEO, is hosting four, weeklong Summer Cyber Camps for children to get them in the cybersecurity job pipeline.

“Cybersecurity is so vast and so wide and affects so much of what we do,” Ramos said. “The marketplace here in Pensacola is very strong.”

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CYBER JOB FACTS
The hardest-to-fill cybersecurity jobs call for financial skills, such as accounting, or knowledge of regulations associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, alongside traditional networking and IT security skills.

More than 10 percent of cybersecurity job postings advertise a security clearance requirement.

Some 84 percent of cybersecurity postings specify at least a bachelor’s degree, and 83 percent require at least three years of experience.

On a per-capita basis, the leading states for cyber hiring are Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado; all have high concentrations of jobs in the federal government and with related contractors.

Source: Burning Glass Job Market Intelligence: Cybersecurity Jobs, 2015