Demand for cybersecurity talent exceeds supply, leaving employers to seek out remote workers

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Cybersecurity job growth has steadily outpaced the supply of qualified talent for years, leaving some cities like San Diego to recruit workers from outside their region to meet their needs, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported June 24. 

The demand for cybersecurity workers has surpassed the supply for years, according to a recent San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. study, the Union-Tribune reports. Despite local cyber employment increasing 7.4 percent since 2018, more than 80 percent of San Diego-based cyber companies have reported challenges finding qualified employees, according to the report. 

"Talent shortages present a key challenge for the cyber industry," said Nate Kelley, senior research manager with the EDC, according to the report. "Just because cyber companies want to hire more workers, it doesn't mean they’ll be able to, at least not as many as they would like." 

There are still about three open jobs for every qualified cyber worker across the San Diego region, according to the study. The EDC recommends taking steps to attract more college students to cyber-specific degree programs to navigate the issue. 

Some companies have resorted to advertising for remote positions; the study found that remote job listings made up 9.3 percent of all local cyber job openings in April, up from 3.3 percent in September 2019. 

The analysis comes after a recent cyberattack on San Diego-based Scripps Health; the health system earlier this month began notifying more than 147,000 individuals that their protected health information had been exposed in an April 29 malware attack. After discovering the incident, Scripps shut down its IT systems for nearly a month while recovering. 


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