Rise of the ‘Accidental’ Cybersecurity Professional (Tech Republic)


With an extreme shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals, it’s becoming increasingly common for people—especially women—to enter the field from other careers, including IT, law, compliance, and government. These employees form a group of “accidental” cyber professionals who are filling the need for cyber professionals and offering a different view on security threats.

Job postings in the cybersecurity field have gone up 74% over the past five years—a Cisco report estimates that there are currently 1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide. US News and World Report ranked a career in information security analysis fifth on its list of best technology jobs. Average salaries nationally are $88,890, and significantly higher in cities such as San Francisco and New York.

“The job prospects are excellent,” said Deborah Hurley, a professor for Brown University’s executive master in cybersecurity program. “The demand far outstrips the supply.”