Move over, Data Scientists. We predict Cybersecurity Professionals will have the most sought-after technology skills in San Diego this year.
For some this may come as a surprise. Much of the work Cybersecurity Professionals do takes place behind the scenes – especially when things go well. It’s when things aren’t going well, however, that the mission-critical nature of this profession becomes exceedingly clear. Now-infamous data breaches at Target, Anthem, the IRS and Ashley Madison reveal just how important a company’s cybersecurity is.
As corporations scramble to protect their private information from hackers and other online threats, the demand for skilled ‘Cyber’ talent is heating up. A recent Stanford Journalism report predicts demand for Information Security (InfoSec) Analysts and other Cybersecurity Professionals will grow by 53% through 2018.
Locally, Cybersecurity has been identified as ‘the next big thing’ to accelerate economic growth in San Diego – much like Biotech and Clean Tech in the last 20 years. The industry is currently growing at 13% in San Diego – compared with 2.2% overall growth – and counts the existence of at least 100 companies and 6,500 jobs in its economic impact.
To learn more about this fast-growing job market, we recently sat down with Bill Bonney, a San Diego-based Information Security executive with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Bill is currently a Principal Consulting Analyst with TechVision Research and shared his thoughts following a CyberTECH panel discussion focused on Bitcoin and Internet of Things (IoT) security trends. Here’s what he had to say.Kelly Feest, Technical Recruiter Interviewee: Bill Bonney, Information Security Expert
Q1. How has the Cybersecurity community in San Diego changed over the last five years?
[WQB] There are several growing organizations, such as CyberTECH, that foster startups and provide opportunities for information sharing. These groups increasingly promote San Diego as a premier destination and brand for Cybersecurity.
Additionally, San Diego is one of the biggest early adopters [of Cybersecurity and IoT] at a city-wide level. As a result, GE recently picked downtown San Diego to pilot their new LightGrid infrastructure and showcase the first-in-the-country deployment of their new smart urban lighting technology.
Q2. What are some ‘hot’ local companies in Cybersecurity that everyone wants to work for?
[WQB] There are a number of really great companies in San Diego that have terrific teams. The large companies that come to mind are Qualcomm, Intuit and Illumina. The city of San Diego, as I mentioned before, is doing very cool stuff.
Cyber is particularly growing in two major industries in San Diego – Defense and Biotech. Within Government/Defense companies, SPAWAR, Kratos and General Atomic are major players. As we connect more and more technology, our strength in Biotech becomes a great source of Cyber as well. Some of the important companies in that space are MedImpact, ResMed and Rady [Children’s Hospital].
Q3. What advice do you have for professionals just starting out in Cybersecurity?
[WQB] Be curious and learn how stuff works. The best security people know what they are securing – they know what good or normal activity is, and that allows them to recognize bad or abnormal activity.
It doesn’t take a 4-year degree to get started in cyber. Get a certificate for a major vendor like Microsoft or CISCO, and that will get you going.
Q4. Which Cybersecurity skill sets will be the most in-demand in 2016?
[WQB] Knowledge of any/all of the following tools, processes and language is in high demand:
- Security information and event management (SIEM) tools
- How to work with vulnerability scanners
- Understanding what it takes to comply with PCI-DSS
- Cloud security tools
- DevOps and scripting and automation
- Knowing how to work with large data sets – logs are especially huge these days
The bottom line:
Professionals considering a career change or seeking new skills in 2016 would be wise to consider Information Security. Not only does it promise one of the fastest growing and highest paying technology job markets in years ahead, it also offers an opportunity to make a positive economic and social impact.
Plus, the world needs more Cybersecurity professionals. A recent Cisco Security Report estimated that corporate demand for workers with these skills outpaced supply by at least 1 million open positions worldwide. That number is projected to grow to 1.5 million by 2019. The result is higher salaries and multiple offers for qualified professionals.
To learn more about Cybersecurity opportunities in San Diego, feel free to contact Kelly directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also check out CyberTECH, a ‘global cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) network ecosystem providing cybersecurity and IoT resources, strategic programs and thought leadership events across the nation.’
The University of San Diego also offers many useful tips and resources for Finding a Career in Cyber Security.
Have a question about Cyber Security jobs in San Diego? Leave a question in the comments below!