Since the University’s Computer Science Department offers a Computer Security Certificate and Cyber Security is a growing area of interest for college grads, I was curious how many entry level jobs are currently available in the Cyber Security field, especially in the Philadelphia region.
I decided to check two sources; Dice.com and Indeed.com using a general search on “Cyber Security” to capture most types of jobs related to the field. I started with a search on Indeed which returned 491 full time jobs within 25 miles of Philadelphia, PA. I was surprised there were so many. Cyber is popular right now but that seemed high. If it wasn’t high, then local grads might be well positioned to capitalize on a favorable job market! How many Cyber jobs in New York City I wondered? Indeed returned 1653 full-time jobs. There’s literally four times the number of Cyber jobs in New York City than in Philadelphia. I then decided to check the region that should have the most Cyber jobs: Silicon Valley of course. I searched all of California and noted 3525 full-time jobs in Cyber Security. I expected there to be more. Finally, I was struck by the idea of checking Washington, DC for Cyber jobs and there it was – the Cyber jackpot: 9197 full-time jobs! The Government sector is clearly the largest Cyber employer.
It was time to compare these results to Dice.com which is known as a jobsite for the tech industry. I searched Philadelphia for ‘Cyber Security’ and was surprised: only 205 full-time jobs! I searched New York and only found 824 jobs. California returned 1310 jobs and the Cyber Holy Grail in Washington, DC, returned 1960 jobs. To my surprise, there’s a very significant discrepancy, a factor of 4 or greater, between the two job ad sites.
I needed to figure out why. Here’s where job sites get murky; they need to monetize their platforms. Indeed monetizes by inserting ‘sponsored’ job ads inside your search results. This simply means there are multiple duplicates of the same job ad on each page you view which means it completely inflates the number of available jobs in your search results. Dice monetizes their platform by charging per ad and with banner and sidebar ads. Trying to interpret which sight would have the most accurate data is subjective without more data. I’ll assume for this post that Dice has more accurate job posting volumes simply because each ad costs a company $395 to post from an HR budget. The negative of Dice is that searched are less granular; Searching Cyber jobs in Philadelphia also serves job posting from New York. Very perplexing algorithm – obviously intentional – so even Dice has inflated job posting numbers because of this.
As I looked closer, I also noticed a problem for aspiring Cyber graduates: There’s a discrepancy in the volume of entry level positions against the mid-level positions. Translation: most jobs are mid-level tier requiring experience. This holds true across the entire industry. I’ll use Indeed data because they differentiate entry level, mid-level and senior level jobs. The ratio of entry level jobs to available jobs is about 23%. In New York and California, the ratio is 18%. In Washington, DC, the ratio dips to 12%. A generic conclusion is there’s fewer entry level jobs in Cyber.
There’s also a geographical consideration with jobs in Cyber. New York is clearly focused on Financial – Goldman Sachs has the most job offerings. In California, Cyber jobs are very granular and niched at the largest tech companies. In Washington, DC, almost all jobs are Government sector jobs. In Philadelphia, Cyber isn’t financial; it’s Lockheed Martin and Comcast along with a diverse spread of postings from many regional companies in various business sectors.
Are they Cyber jobs available? Absolutely. Are there a lot of Cyber jobs available? Yes – but your ability to land one is likely related to the amount of experience you have.