Career Insights with Upasana Gupta

Security Jobs on the Rise in 2011

Security Jobs on the Rise in 2011

While IT employment numbers may be lagging, there is strong hope within information security, which is emerging as the hot sector for career prospects in 2011.

According to the January IT Skills Report released from, a job board dedicated to IT professionals, information security jobs have skyrocketed to 1,680 listed positions -- a 109 percent growth from last year.

Practitioners in information security, both experienced and newbies, continue to see high growth within the industry. Also, certified professionals are in greater demand, as Dice found that employers frequently look for candidates who have earned the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), which is requested in one-third of information security job postings.

Interestingly, David Foote of Foote Partners, a FL-based consultancy that tracks IT skills and competencies, finds a lot of activity focused on entry-level security certifications in 2011, including GIAC Security Essential Certification and the CompTIA Security plus, as individuals such as system administrators begin to consider security as a long-term career choice.

Foote also predicts growth in certifications offered by organizations such as ISACA, including the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), as more companies focus internal development on strategic management of IT risk and governance.

Dice also reports a substantial increase in jobs from the Washington D.C./Baltimore area -- up by 53 percent, followed by the New York/ New Jersey sector with a 30 percent increase over last year.

This is no surprise, as government agencies and private industry are all focused on hiring cybersecurity professionals who have the skills to protect their systems and networks from relentless forms of attack.

"We consistently hear that security is a top hiring priority from IT departments around the country," says Tom Silver, SVP and chief marketing officer at "From cyber-SWAT teams to security analysts, companies are hiring, and the need to protect their customers and intellectual capital only continues to grow."

Specific skill sets in demand include cloud computing, which topped the list with job postings up nearly three-fold (294 percent) to 1,300 job postings. This boom in cloud-based applications is one of the factors driving demand for skill sets in application developers like JavaScript (+98 percent to 7,919) and HTML (+85 percent to 8,547).

Virtualization is also high in demand. In particular, VMWare experience is what employers are seeking. There are close to 2,100 job postings, representing a 92 percent growth from last year. Virtualization and its ability to reduce hardware and operating costs is a major reason corporations are seeking this expertise.

Other growing specializations include SAP (+87 percent to 6,679) and PeopleSoft (+98 percent to 2,147).

The findings go hand-in-hand with what Foote sees in demand within IT security skills for 2011. In fact, a few additions from his list include application security, managed services, wireless security, data leak prevention, forensic analysis, identity and access management, VOIP security and vulnerability assessment.

No doubt, the job market for information security professionals is getting stronger. However, practitioners need to keep themselves abreast and acquire new skill sets based on changing trends.

How are you investing in your security career and differentiating yourself in 2011? Share with us.

About the Author

Upasana Gupta

Upasana Gupta

Contributing Editor, CareersInfoSecurity

Upasana Gupta oversees CareersInfoSecurity and shepherds career and leadership coverage for all Information Security Media Group's media properties. She regularly writes on career topics and speaks to senior executives on a wide-range of subjects, including security leadership, privacy, risk management, application security and fraud. She also helps produce podcasts and is instrumental in the global expansion of ISMG websites by recruiting international information security and risk experts to contribute content, including blogs. Upasana previously served as a resource manager focusing on hiring, recruiting and human resources at Icons Inc., an IT security advisory firm affiliated with ISMG. She holds an MBA in human resources from Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa.

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