Your ultimate guide to Cybersecurity and IT Staffing Agencies
The cybersecurity industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It will reach a whopping $192.7 billion by 2028! This rapid expansion is mainly due to the need for a skilled labor force to protect data and IT systems. Cyber attacks are increasing, and the demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high. Just in 2020, cybercrime led to a global financial loss of approximately $1 trillion. This makes choosing the right cybersecurity staffing agency imperative. Ready to start working in this industry? Contact CIBR Warriors for the fastest way to a better position in IT!
In light of all this, it is no surprise that there is a huge demand for cybersecurity experts. The skills required are extensive, but many people can find opportunities in the field even with minimal experience.
The good news is that you don’t have to look for better job opportunities on your own. The right cybersecurity staffing agency will help you find your dream job in record time.
Here is everything you need to know about the process.
Cybersecurity Job Market Breakdown
Currently, there are more than 460,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States. Out of those, only 36,000 are in federal agencies, government agencies, and other public sector institutions. The rest are in the private sector. This means that not all cybersecurity jobs require government-level security clearances.
Moreover, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2029, employment rates for information security analysts will rise to 31%!
At the moment, employers are primarily looking to fill these cybersecurity roles:
- Cyber Security Specialist (Cyber Security Technician)
- Incident Analyst (Incident Responder)
- Vulnerability Analyst (Penetration Tester)
- Systems Engineer
- Network Engineer (Network Architect)
- Software Developer (Software Engineer)
- Cyber Security Manager (Cyber Security Administrator)
- Cyber Security Consultant
- Cyber Security Analyst
Each of these job titles has a different set of skills that it requires. However, there are some commonalities that every cybersecurity position should have:
- The ability to think critically and creatively
- Knowledge of technology systems in the workplace
- Good research and communication skills
It is essential for anyone looking to work in this field to understand what these positions entail and your responsibilities. Here is a quick overview of the most common cybersecurity job duties for mid to high-level positions:
- Ensuring the smooth operation of IT systems, services, and devices. Supporting and maintaining an efficient data flow.
- Designing and building various security systems.
- Developing and implementing security policies.
- Monitoring networks for a potential threat or security breach to the system’s protocols. Recognizing, assessing, and removing cyber threats.
- Investigating cybersecurity incidents and breaches to internal IT and network systems.
- Managing risk by identifying potential vulnerabilities.
- Evaluating cybersecurity information to determine its usefulness.
- Managing, leading, and supervising cybersecurity staff members.
When you’re just starting your career, you might be satisfied with pretty much any entry-level position in the field of cybersecurity. And that’s fine – it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
But when it comes to promotions, you need to take a moment and consider which path you want to go down. Do you wish to manage cybersecurity teams? Do you want to be more of an executive overseeing the entire cybersecurity operation from a higher level? Or does your passion lie in technology and development, with little interest in supervision?
The answer is up to you – but it pays off to keep your eye on what kind of position might come next.
To help you make this choice, consider these mid-level cybersecurity job roles:
- Penetration and vulnerability tester – someone who uses ethical hacking to test systems for vulnerabilities.
- Cybersecurity consultant – a professional who provides advice and guidance on cybersecurity risk.
- Cybersecurity analyst – someone who assesses the organization’s security risks and develops plans to reduce them.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for advanced-level jobs, you can choose one of these common options:
- Cybersecurity architect – the person responsible for designing, deploying, maintaining, and updating a security system. An expert on both technical matters (such as encryption) but also organizational strategy.
- Security manager – someone in charge of an organization’s security policies, procedures, and standards.
- Security engineer – someone with software development skills and expertise in system design, networking, cryptography, and computer science principles.
Annual Salary Ranges
Understandably, you wish to know how much money you can earn in a cybersecurity career. The average salary depends on what type of education you have, your experience levels, where the company you’re working for is located, what size it is, and similar.
That being said, the overall average annual salary for the cybersecurity field is $90,616, according to PayScale.
It stands to reason that some positions earn more than others. Take a look at how much specific cybersecurity roles make in a year, as of 2021:
- Information Security Analyst: $73,000
- Cyber Security Analyst: $76,000
- IT Security Consultant: $88,000
- Security Engineer: $94,000
- Information Security Manager: $119,000
- IT Security Architect: &128,000
- CISO – Chief Information Security Officer: $173,000
Higher Position Requirements
It is no surprise that, as an IT professional, you need to have a certain level of knowledge to be successful. The skills that are required for your current position will not always suffice in higher positions. New technologies come out constantly, and the demand for knowledgeable employees grows all the time.
To qualify for a position you’re after, you’ll need the skills listed in the job description. Not only do you have to learn the theory, but you also have to be able to deliver on tasks quickly and efficiently.
A degree in cybersecurity is not always needed for a higher position. It is a bonus – just like a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a computer-related field – but there are plenty of examples of individuals who became quite successful in their cybersecurity careers without it.
However, you will need to have the cybersecurity skills required for the job. You can gain these through certifications, various online coding boot camps, on-the-job experience, and/or self-learning.
Industry certifications are one of the best ways to prove your knowledge and skills. The IT industry has recognized this, which is why there are many different certifications in the cybersecurity field that will help you stand out from other candidates for a position.
If you’re not sure where to start, it will help to know which cybersecurity certifications are most in-demand:
- CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor
- GIAC – Global Information Assurance Certification
- CompTIA Security+
- CISM – Certified Information Security Manager
- CIPP – Certified Information Privacy Professional
The CISSP currently has the lowest number of certification holders compared to the number of job openings requesting this cert. The CompTIA Security+, on the other hand, has an overwhelming number of certification holders compared to how often it pops up in job postings.
Finding the Ideal Workplace
When we’re hunting for a job, we usually focus on whether or not we meet the requirements – we rarely consider whether we will be happy with the position and the work environment we’re hired into.
There is no such thing as an ideal workplace, but one (or several) can come close. Have you ever thought about what type of work conditions or an environment would make you happy?
Every person is different, and each workplace has its way of doing things. The best thing we can do when looking for our next job is to consider our own needs and how they will fit in the new workplace.
Define Your Needs
What do you need from your workplace?
Do you want a job that will give you free time in between work? Do you need to work in an office, or would working at home be more beneficial for your lifestyle needs, such as childcare?
What about the company culture? Do you prefer a team-oriented environment, or is individual work better for you?
How much travel will the next position require? Is that something you want or are hesitant to accept?
To know what company you’d like to work for, you first need to answer these questions. Define your needs so that you can start looking for an organization that will meet these needs and increase your motivation and productivity.
Search for the Right Company
There is no room for self-doubt. Once you put together a list of all the traits a workplace would make you satisfied with, it is time to start searching for it.
There are several ways you can go about this:
- Use your network to find out if someone knows of a company that will be perfect for you.
- Conduct an online search for IT businesses in your area that will match the criteria on your list. Review online lists of “best IT companies to work for.” They may not be the most reliable, but they will give you a good starting point.
- Turn to the local US Chamber of Commerce if you are interested in local organizations.
Create your own spreadsheet of companies you would like to work for and the reasons why they should be on that list. This is not the list of final choices yet – the next step is to do some research and find out whether these companies you’ve written down really are as promising as they sound.
Verifying Company Information
It’s worthwhile to look at the company website before wasting time trying to contact them. At this stage, you are not necessarily looking if they have a career page with job openings and information on how to apply for work there. Instead, you should check out their brand voice, what they stand for, and what their values and responsibilities are. Do they align with your views?
An even more critical step at this stage of your research is to look for information about the company on sites such as LinkedIn. The company’s LinkedIn profile will tell you how many employees they have, what kind of things they post, whether they’re highlighting their employees, and similar.
Finally, review sites like glassdoor.com offer invaluable insight into the inner workings of an organization. Here, you can read reviews from current and past employees, find salary averages for specific positions, and see what kinds of benefits they offer.
If you still like what you find, then you can move on to the next step.
Locating Company Contacts
It isn’t easy to find your way into a company you’d love to work for. The first thing you should do is find the best contact to speak with.
This usually means speaking with a recruiter, but it could also be someone in charge of hiring or somebody higher up in management. These people are more likely to have access to information about current openings and potential candidates that will work well for their company.
You find them on Facebook groups of the company, LinkedIn, Twitter, and similar platforms.
Make yourself seen – share your work and thoughts throughout social media so people will be more likely to notice you.
Get in touch with other employees working in the same field as you – they might be able to put in a good word once it’s time to kickstart the hiring process.
Where Does a Cybersecurity Staffing Agency Come In?
If everything we’ve described so far was helpful but overwhelming – don’t worry. Looking for an excellent higher-level job in IT is indeed no small feat, but you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
In fact, you don’t have to do anything yourself! There is an option that will allow you to focus on your work and skill-building while you leave the rest in the hands of experts willing to help you find the best job you can get.
The role of a cybersecurity staffing agency is to take the time and effort out of finding a new job or career. Their primary focus is to match the employee skill sets with the best job opportunities available. Many of them can even offer you a contract position that will get you started in this field and help you grow as quickly as possible!
Here are the major benefits of hiring a cybersecurity staff agency:
- They will take care of all the research and matchmaking for you, so you don’t have to concern yourself with that.
- A staffing agency is in a unique position to understand what kinds of positions are available at any given time, so they can help with finding a better job quicker than an individual would have.
- They will help you grow in the cybersecurity career by helping you build up your knowledge base, hone your skills, and spice up your resume.
- Recruiters at a staffing agency are expert negotiators. They will stand up for you and make sure that the company values your skill sets. You might even get a higher salary than what is offered in the job posting!
How to Find the Right Cybersecurity Staffing Agency
First things first, for the cybersecurity industry, it would be best to look for agencies specialized in this field. This will increase the chances of them having many connections to companies and organizations in the same sector. Also, look for proof of satisfied customers, both job seekers and companies that are looking to hire.
When you get in touch with an agency, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The recruiter you talk to is there to help you – they should be accommodating and happy to answer your inquiries. Furthermore, their attention should be focused on you and your needs during the meeting.
A staffing agency that offers workshops or similar events where you can build up your skills (both hard and soft skills) is a huge bonus. Ask about these opportunities, if there are any.
Finally, follow your gut. If anything seems even remotely off or you’re not sure about the agency, there is no need to force the issue. Remember that this is about your future career – if the agency is not as optimistic and excited about providing you with opportunities you will benefit from, there isn’t much point in asking them for help.
Regardless of whether you’re at the start of your cybersecurity journey or already well-established in it, it is never easy to look for other job options. Getting a higher position in IT is a daunting task that requires much more than knowledge of the basics.
Fortunately, the cybersecurity job market is pretty much wide open. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing industries in both size and complexity, so it’s no wonder that it is so appealing to those in the IT field. There are hundreds of thousands of open positions as you’re reading this, and there will likely be many more in the future. There should be nothing stopping you from realizing your cybersecurity dreams.
If you find that evaluating your skill set, searching for the right company, validating information about them, and finding viable contacts is too much work, there is an easier route.
A cybersecurity staffing agency provides a solution to this problem, as they can help you find not only your next job but also the perfect opportunity for an IT professional.
Staffing agency experts will help you improve your skills and knowledge, find that perfect position, and give you the support needed to succeed.
Ready to start? Contact CIBR Warriors for the fastest way to a better position in IT!