Study documents growing need for qualified cybersecurity workers in the marketplace.
Sacramento, Calif. – Today, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), released the results of a California Cybersecurity Labor Market Analysis and Statewide Survey. This document details the findings of a study done by the California Community Colleges Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research and demonstrates that there is much work to be done in order to adequately prepare Californians for the demands of the digital and cyber economy.
Conducted as part of the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis & Diversification Effort (CASCADE) initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the study gathered information about workforce needs in California and the scope of training being provided by educational providers across the state. It found an alarming gap in the supply of qualified cybersecurity workers prepared to fill the 35,000 cybersecurity-related annual job openings that exist in California.
“The Cybersecurity Labor Market Analysis is a major step forward in understanding the significant gap between the demand for cybersecurity-related occupations and number of qualified candidates in the state,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis. “As California’s companies rely more on digital technologies, addressing this labor shortfall becomes more urgent. We look forward to working with public and private partners to identify and implement solutions that support California businesses.”
In order to complete this analysis, a statewide survey of 385 businesses was conducted to collect data for nine of the most common cybersecurity occupations, using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. This included roles such as Systems Security Analyst, Cyber Defense Analyst, Vulnerability Assessment Analyst, Cyber Defense Forensics Analyst, and Software Developer, among others. Additionally, as part of the study, primary and secondary data was collected on public and private postsecondary institutions offering cybersecurity related programs.
Based on employer responses, strong cybersecurity employment growth is expected over the next 12 months, ranging from 4% to 21% for the work roles studied, representing an increase of about 14,300 positions. In 2016, the most recent year of available data, 242 accredited postsecondary institutions in California offered 1,177 programs that were related to cybersecurity. However, only 3,200 awards were conferred by programs that focused directly on cybersecurity or clearly included aspects of cybersecurity in their curriculum. The study concludes that California’s educational institutions are not currently supplying enough qualified candidates to fill the thousands of cybersecurity job openings that exist.
Eileen Sanchez, CASCADE Program Manager said, “These numbers show a real opportunity to train individuals into high growth occupations. Knowing what occupations and skills are most important is a key factor in re-training defense workers and getting them to adapt to national security priorities and the changing skills requirements of jobs in our economy here in California.”
Additional Key Findings
- For all nine work roles, 60% or more of employers reported some or great difficulty finding qualified candidates. This demonstrates the significant challenge employers are facing hiring the cybersecurity workers they need.
- Across all nine work roles, the top three hiring challenges are: lack of qualified candidates in general, lack of relevant work experience, and lack of required technology skills.
- For all nine work roles, 75% or more of defense contractors reported that security certifications are important or very important when hiring, and for seven of the work roles, 80% or more of defense contractors reported this.
- For each of four IT/IS work roles, a majority of employers indicated that employees spend more than a quarter of their time on security/cybersecurity issues and that compared to 12 months ago the amount of time spent on security/cybersecurity issues had increased.
- The majority of cybersecurity-related programs are offered by public two-year (56%) and public four-year (16%) colleges, resulting in public colleges offering 72% of cybersecurity-related programs.
- In a survey of postsecondary institutions with cybersecurity related programs, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they offered programs that align with the “Operate and Maintain” category in the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.
- Download a free copy of the Report.
About the CASCADE Program
Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), the CASCADE program seeks to bolster California’s defense supply chain cybersecurity resilience, innovation capacity and diversification strategies, and to support the growth and sustainment of California’s cybersecurity workforce through cybersecurity-related education curricula, training and apprenticeship programs. CASCADE is led by the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). CASCADE includes 15 funded projects in partnership with government, industry, community, and academic institutions and is the most ambitious and comprehensive approach to addressing cybersecurity and the defense supply chain in California.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit, www.business.ca.gov.
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