Thursday, June 4, 2009

(ISC)² Security Professional Security Hiring and Employment Outlook Survey

The (ISC)² hiring and employment outlook survey results recently announced on the (ISC)² website point to security as a continued area of growth, despite the economic downturn. Their survey was answered by over 2800 respondents, with 775 with hiring responsibilities. Interestingly, almost half of those were hiring at least one staffer. The survey also notes that many organizations had experienced lay-offs and/or budget decreases.

The responses regarding hiring also met my own recent experiences - finding qualified candidates with strong technical and interpersonal skills is difficult. The skillset required to be an analyst in a large organization with a diverse IT environment can be difficult to find, and competition for those highly qualified candidates remains stiff. Many candidates have specialized knowledge in a single area, but have little qualification across other crucial fields. Others have many paper certifications, but don't handle practical questions well. In short, the downturn seems to be shaking those with lower qualifications loose, and those with stronger backgrounds are still able to pick and choose their jobs.

The good news is that if you are a highly qualified security professional, you remain a valuable asset, and may have more opportunities then in other fields. The bad news is that the weak employment market may not greatly help you if you are a hiring manager - or you your resources may be so constrained that hiring a top flight candidate is impossible.

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