The cyber security job market globally is the fastest growing job market in the world currently. Where as IT was seen as the gem of job markets for many years (and it is still among the best), cyber security is outpacing it in growth by more than four times. Cyber security is outpacing the overall job market by more than twelve times. So yes, it’s the next wave of growth.
The Old Crab State of Maryland is currently seen as very likely, the hands-down leader in cyber security, as far as states go. The presence of IT, Federal Government, DoD, State Government and defense contractors make up a mix that is unmatched by any other state. The Baltimore area makes up the majority of Maryland’s cyber security prowess and its focal point, is absolutely Fort Meade, which is home to the NSA, US Cyber Command, DISA etc. The Maryland reach of support, offensive cyber security, defensive security requirements, intel, technology purchasing and contractors, make up a more than thriving, highly enviable cyber security job market. It is estimated that approximately 77,000 cyber security professionals work in Maryland, most are focused in the Baltimore area.
With this vast reach in such an explosively growing industry, other organizations and companies have taken notice, and are working to make the area even more of a leader in the field. Maryland has internationally awarded training companies (such as the one who this blog belongs to, TrainACE), 5 universities that are recognized as Centers of Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense education and research and several state based support organizations that provide local startups with funding.
With all of these stunning facts about Maryland and it’s highly enviable position as a cyber sec leader, there are signs that would lead one to believe that the cyber security job market in the state may actually be in trouble. How? Here is how:
We mentioned those 77,000 residents who work in the cyber security field, however there are over 20,000 unfilled jobs in the state. That number of unfilled jobs, as of now, is expected to rise by up to 50% by 2018. Since talent is so thin, salaries in the field are escalating, to almost bubble heights. These incredibly high salaries can make for a very volatile, and unsustainable job market, one that could be doomed to deep market correction sometime in the near future.
Also, despite the fact that more market opportunity exists in the state via the over-abundance of potential buyers, a surprisingly small amount of venture capital is distributed in the area towards the field. Several other markets still outpace Maryland’s cyber security venture funding annually. If local companies are not being built and sustained, then Maryland’s job market could be jeopardized by other regions. The jobs could be stolen away to other regions, the ones providing the homes to the startups.
The best answer to protect Maryland’s cyber security job market future, is training and awareness. More people that live in the area need to focus their career growth in the field, take classes, seek degrees, get certified and so on. Awareness needs to continue to expand to hopefully bring more Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms to the area, in order to protect the local startup eco-system.
About the Author
Ryan Corey is the former VP of Marketing for the award winning training company, TrainACE, the company who runs the blog which you are now reading. Ryan left the company in January, 2015 to launch Cybrary. Cybrary is seeking to bring cyber security professionals together with cyber security employers with its quickly growing job board.