One thing is certain: The need for cyber security professionals isn’t going away any time in the near future. As our digital footprint and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to expand, we become increasingly vulnerable to having our private information poached with a single click, swipe or utterance. As a result, this is a field where 95 percent of people are certified, and within that group, 87 percent are specifically certified in security or privacy.
As major data breaches have demonstrated time and time again, cyber security and compliance is the responsibility of all employees—not just those who formally specialize in cyber security efforts. Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already well aware of the importance of everyday cyber security measures and know it’s not a matter of “if” so much as “when” your organization or company will experience a breach.
We can’t move fast enough
There’s one statistic circulating that lends itself to a real sense of urgency in the field.
According to the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, there is expected to be a 1.8 million person worldwide workforce shortage in cyber security by 2022. Let that sink in for a minute. Nearly 2 million people are needed to cultivate cyber security know-how to protect their organizations from breaches in the next five years. That’s a huge vacancy in skills and, more importantly, leadership.
And who is helping create cyber security and business technology leaders of today and tomorrow? Meet ISACA. As an organization driven to promote cyber security awareness and skills, ISACA provides a deeper validation of skills for those working in governance, IT audit and assurance, risk, as well as information and cyber security.
ISACA enables professionals to take a leadership role by increasing their depth of knowledge. Greater skills validation translates to being better able to leverage that background into leadership positions.
As a result of those advanced, validated skills, ISACA-certified professionals typically have average salaries 44 percent higher than those of their non-certified peers worldwide, according to the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report. In fact, ISACA certifications (CRISC and CISM) earned the top two spots in top-paying certifications this year, and overall, six of the top 20 highest-paying certifications are in the field of cyber security.
“It’s clear from the growth in certifications from organizations like ISACA that companies and employees put increasing value on investment in skills and abilities. We see that investment across the board as the IT industry realizes that the return on investment for people exceeds the ROI for technology,” said Dave Buster, Global Senior Portfolio Director for Cybersecurity at Global Knowledge.
Never content and always learning
What’s more, the report revealed ISACA-certified professionals weren’t content to rest on their laurels once certified. Globally, 89 percent of industry professionals holding ISACA credentials trained in the last year, and on top of that, 75 percent of respondents said they did so in order to cultivate new skills. Compared to their peers that are not ISACA-certified, professionals holding at least one ISACA certification were more likely to attend a webinar or conference and download white papers or articles to stay informed with industry trends and best practices.
Given their more senior-level roles within their organizations, generally, ISACA-certified professionals are more apt than their counterparts to report training in areas of business process improvement and leadership.
Driven to succeed
The takeaway: ISACA-certified professionals are driven to succeed and consistently re-evaluate the definition of success through continued engagement and learning. While ISACA can’t single-handedly solve the worldwide personnel shortage for those working in cyber security and related fields, according to the IT Skills and Salary Report, those who turn to ISACA for skills development and certification are committed to the cause and tend to be rewarded with higher salaries.
Casey Wasserman, Ph.D, Content Marketing Manager for Global Knowledge
[ISACA Now Blog]