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The best time to pursue a cybersecurity career is now
For job seekers looking for job security, competitive salary and the option to work in various industries, the cybersecurity field is the place to be.
As the world becomes more digitally connected, we become more vulnerable to cyber threats. Additionally, as Singapore moves towards the Government’s Smart Nation initiative and a unified e-payment system, cybersecurity has gained the spotlight. The latest example of the vulnerability of digitalisation is the SingHealth data breach and WanaCry ransomware attack.
The increased use of digital technology has translated into great demand for cybersecurity products and services. As corporate businesses compete in the digital world, companies become more susceptible to cybersecurity risk. Thus, it is crucial to raise IT security capabilities as companies ride on to the digital wave.
As a recruiter for IT roles for the past 6 years, I’ve had professionals asking me about the cybersecurity labour market, and about when is a good time to pursue a career in this area. Having met and placed successful candidates within the IT security sector, my answer to them is NOW. Here is why.
High volume of IT security roles – Supply and demand
The demand for cybersecurity talents has grown in all sectors. A LinkedIn 2018 report on emerging jobs in Singapore listed cybersecurity specialists jobs as one of the top emerging jobs with a steep growth rate of 5.5 times over the last 5 years.
Cyber threats have evolved to more sophisticated threats. On top of phishing - the fraudulent attempt of extorting sensitive data, cyber threats now encompass market manipulation, espionage and infrastructure distortion, all of which impact businesses as a whole. Thus, cybersecurity is no longer just a technological risk, it is now a business risk and cybersecurity breaches are no longer just limited to the financial services or the government sector. It has long extended its reach to industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and ecommerce, to name a few.
Cybersecurity talent crunch - It’s a candidates’ market
One of the greatest challenges in mitigating cybersecurity risk is the lack of skilled talent on the market. Demand has grown significantly, while the talent availability is growing at a slower pace. The IT security talents crunch is now on a global scale, not just in Singapore. “This talent crunch is a major factor that limits cybersecurity teams’ efforts to deal with cyber threats,” Quann’s Managing Director Mr Foo Siang-Tse said.
Cybersecurity = job security
As businesses become much more digitally connected, data breaches and cybersecurity risk will not be a passing trend. Investment in cybersecurity is set to keep pace with the growing Singaporean digital economy. The cybersecurity sector in Singapore is projected to grow to around S$900 million by 2020 – Former Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.
As Singapore becomes more digitally connected, cyber attacks will continue with greater frequency and severity. As measures are being put in place to increase cybersecurity readiness, the weakest link remains the human factor.
Skilling up a workforce takes time and this window of unique opportunity where demand for cybersecurity professional exceeds the supply of workforce won’t last forever. Level up your career by specializing in cybersecurity now before more people enter this high-growth sector.