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Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

Demand for cyberworkers has held steady in recent months as the broader tech industry has suffered from a wave of layoffs to cut costs, according to data released today.

Why is this important: Cybersecurity job postings present a silver lining in an otherwise bleak hiring outlook for the tech industry.

By the numbers: The total number of cybersecurity workers employed in 2022 remained relatively unchanged from previous estimates at around 1.1 million, according to new data from the National Standards Institute’s National Cybersecurity Education Initiative. and technology, CompTIA business group and data company Lightcast.

  • Meanwhile, employers posted 755,743 cyberspace job openings throughout 2022, down about 2% from the 769,736 posted between October 2021 and September 2022, the last time these jobs were posted. groups have compiled such data.
  • Public sector cybersecurity demand grew by 25% throughout 2022 with 45,708 job openings, according to the report. Private sector demand increased by approximately 21% to approximately 710,000 registrations.

The big picture: Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast, told Axios that while demand for new cyber employees hasn’t skyrocketed, it “definitely remains as strong as it’s ever been.”

  • The two most in-demand roles remain cybersecurity engineers and cybersecurity analysts, Markow said, adding that there is also high demand for penetration testers and network security architects.

Zoom out: Employers have struggled for years to fill vacancies in cybersecurity.

  • In 2022, there were 68 cybersecurity workers for every 100 open positions, according to the new data. The United States needs nearly 530,000 additional cybersecurity workers to close the gap.

Between the lines: The scarcity of workers puts cybersecurity employees in a better position to survive layoffs in the tech industry, Markow said.

  • “There will always be attacks from all angles,” Markow said. “Firing cybersecurity workers is a bit like firing the sheriff as Billy the Kid goes to town.

Yes, but: Some cyberworkers have again been victims of layoffs. Last week, TechCrunch reported that Sophos planned to lay off 450 employees, or around 10% of its workforce.

The plot: An economic downturn could prompt more employers to prioritize entry-level cybersecurity hires, who often have lower salaries and have traditionally struggled to break into the industry.

  • Only 10% of cyber jobs are open to someone who doesn’t have a license, and about 10% to 15% of positions are open to people who have less than three years of experience, Markow told Axios. .
  • “This effectively narrows the entry level on the cybersecurity career ladder and makes it very difficult for us to bring new blood into the industry,” he added.

The bottom line: As hacks and breaches increase, cybersecurity isn’t seeing the same round of devastating layoffs as other tech industries.

  • Instead, the industry is still struggling to build the workforce it needs to meet demand.

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