Clone of Want job security? Try cybersecurity

December 7, 2015

Jennifer Schlesinger

Even as employers added 211,000 jobs in November, prospective employees still have trouble finding jobs — unless you work in cybersecurity. That is one field where the demand for workers routinely outpaces applicants.

To help fill the shortage, universities and companies are working to train potential employees. Still, recent graduates with information security (InfoSec) skills can write their own tickets.

"Odds are there are several hundred thousand jobs today that aren't filled," said Caleb Barlow, IBM's vice president of mobile management and security, told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

By 2020, there are expected to be 1.5 million unfilled jobs in cybersecurity, according to the 2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, released in April. Some universities, such as New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, are moving to take advantage of that boom by offering programs in the field.

"We have classes like computer security where we try to encourage an attacker mindset in younger students," said Kevin Chung, a 2015 graduate of NYU, using an industry term that means viewing IT with the perspective of a potential hacker.

Chung now works as a security analyst at IT consulting firm Bishop Fox. He also mentors current students, helping them learn the skills they will need on the job. While at NYU, Chung was one of the most recruited students on campus, receiving multiple job offers.

"This attacker mindset is very valuable to companies and to individuals because it's very difficult to cultivate," he said.

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