What cybersecurity job recruiters are looking for now

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Career-changer willing to be retrained. Military veteran. Recent university graduate with a computer science, cyber security or other technology-focused degree. If any of these fit on your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), you could be just what cyber security job recruiters are looking for.

Today, nearly every organization in every industry wants to urgently improve its cyber security. In many cases, that means hiring new talent — driving demand for security expertise to far outstrip the supply. These days, cyber security is definitely a job seeker’s market. This is perhaps why “Educating for a Career in Cyber Security” is this week’s theme for National Cybersecurity Awareness month.

Not one-size-fits-all

There’s no single “best” background for all cyber security jobs. That’s because there isn’t only one type of cyber security job, but many.

Some cyber security jobs are highly technical and detailed oriented. Consider a technician tasked with keeping “eyes on glass” all day in a security center. For this job, the ideal job candidate would have either a highly technical background or a technical degree from an accredited university. On a personal level, this candidate will also be able to work alone for long periods of time and be capable of focusing on the details. Depending on the employer, the candidate also may be expected to hold an industry certification.

Other types of cyber security positions require a combination of technical know-how and communication skills. For example, the senior manager of a security operations center will need to understand the nature of any attack. But he or she will also need to be able to simplify that information and communicate it effectively to nontechnical staff.

Still other cyber security roles are comparatively nontechnical, including compliance officers and security consultants. For these openings, the main skills needed include an understanding of government and industry regulations, excellent written and verbal presentation skills, and the ability to work cooperatively with business managers.

Diversity welcome

Many hiring managers are seeking to improve their organizations’ diversity. The need for more women in cyber security is clear. Worldwide, women hold only about one in 10 cyber security jobs (11%), the same rate of participation as in 2013, according to Frost & Sullivan. In some regions, it’s much lower, including Latin America (8%), Europe (7%) and the Middle East (5%).

There’s also a need for greater ethnic and racial diversity. For example, in the United States, Hispanics make up roughly 16% of the population, but hold fewer than 5% of the country’s information security (InfoSec) analyst jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To be sure, companies are always looking for the most qualified candidates. But forward-thinking organizations are also looking to strengthen their teams through greater diversity.

Training gains

What if you lack the precise skills needed for a cyber security job offering? Often, that’s not a problem. Many organizations offer cyber security training classes, apprenticeships and internships. All are designed to help recent hires — or, in the case of interns, potential new hires — develop needed cyber security and related skills.

The type of training can vary depending on a role’s duties. Some cyber security training programs cover basic technical skills, such as learning a new programming language, working with a particular supplier’s security tools and conducting pen (short for “penetration”) testing. Others cover more general management skills, including project management, business writing and giving presentations.

The field of cyber security is exciting, challenging and well-paid. Attractive candidates — those with the right skills, background and personality traits — are highly sought after. For those considering a career in cyber sec, now’s the time.

Interested in working at DXC Technology? We’re technology-independent, and our partnerships with the world’s leading IT providers give us the agility to deliver the best, most proven solutions. If you thrive on change, check us out.

Chris Moyer headshotChris Moyer is vice president and general manager of security for DXC Technology. He has spent more than 25 years building business and technology solutions for clients in several industries across multiple geographies. In previous roles, he has led solutioning, transformation projects and delivery assurance. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Nola Mitchell headshotNola Mitchell is security talent and development program lead for DXC in the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.

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