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Cybersecurity Skills Gap Increases, as Does Demand for Professionals

In a new Cybersecurity Skills Gap Analysis, the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN)—on behalf of the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC)—identified nearly 350,000 cybersecurity-related job postings nationally from July 2015 to June 2016. The study was conducted to better understand future workforce demands in the cybersecurity space.
With employer demand for cybersecurity-related occupations increasing, identifying standards for this industry is essential for providing guidance for emerging skills needs and training.

WIN’s Cybersecurity Skills Gap Analysis report identified four categories of occupations among the cybersecurity workforce: frontline cybersecurity workers, cyber-sensitive service workers, physical security and access workers, and indirect cyber-related workers. Report researchers analyzed job postings to identify a broad set of occupations associated with all aspects of cybersecurity, including the development of software, testing, hardening, connectivity, business-related cyber roles, physical security, and general cybersecurity knowledge.

With nearly 7,000 total job postings in Michigan, WIN also identified 39 institutions offering programs, degrees, or training related to cybersecurity in the Advance Michigan area, including Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. In total, students can choose among more than 90 degree programs and 80 certification programs in this region. Standards to guide these programs will be critical in the future, as experts in the field believe specialized two-year degrees or certifications are often sufficient, when compared to the now required four-year degree or higher.

Of the nearly 350,000 total cybersecurity-related postings nationally, California reported the highest level of postings with over 45,000 online job advertisements, followed by Virginia, Texas, and New York, with over 20,000 postings in each state. Nearly 90 percent of postings required a bachelor’s degree or higher, and over 76 percent were for occupations in the frontline cybersecurity workers category, which consists of those working directly with the technical design and implementation of cybersecurity strategies. There were 778,402 cybersecurity workers in the national workforce in 2016 and 13,520 cybersecurity workers in Michigan, which ranked 35th in the nation.

“It is essential that we understand employer demand in cybersecurity and identify standards for the occupations that are part of this industry,” said Lisa Katz, executive director of WIN. “We want to ensure access to necessary educational and training resources, as well as the future vitality of the cybersecurity field, which is critical to virtually every industry, from automated vehicles to banking and health care.”

The full Cybersecurity Skills Gap Analysis and more key findings from this report can be viewed at:

For more research and data from WIN, or a custom analysis, please visit:

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between ten community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne. WIN was founded with the support of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan and publicly launched in November 2011.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC) is a group of organizations that provides immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The group coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry. Efforts support resiliency and capacity in autonomous transportation and connected mobility, lightweight materials manufacturing sector, and information technology, with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products. The core coalition of partners includes the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Defense Center-an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Merit Network, and Macomb County Office of Economic Development and Planning.