Canadians Increasingly Looking at Cybersecurity Roles, But It’s Still a Job Seeker’s Market
Rising cybersecurity job searches still a long way from matching postings
A data security breach is a nightmare business scenario in today’s world of online transactions. As a result, opportunity abounds for work in cybersecurity. And job seekers are taking notice. Searches for cybersecurity positions as a share of Canadian job search activity grew 16% from 2015 to 2018. Yet, even though cybersecurity searches are on the rise, they don’t come close to meeting employer demand–cybersecurity’s share of Canadian search activity in December 2018 was still less than a fifth of the field’s share of posting activity. As a result, cybersecurity job postings still typically receive fewer clicks than other tech jobs, despite higher average posted salaries. All this points to promising odds for those with specialized cybersecurity skills looking for work in the field.
Cybersecurity searches up more than already elevated postings
We identify cybersecurity-related job postings by tallying listings on Indeed with job titles like “cybersecurity,” “information security,” and “security analyst,” while also tracking job seeker searches containing the same terms.
Cybersecurity roles are gradually attracting a larger share of Indeed’s Canadian job search activity. Job searches related to cybersecurity as a share of total activity rose 16% from 2015 to 2018. And interest is showing momentum heading into 2019. Canadian cybersecurity searches reached their highest share of activity in December at over 740 per million searches.
While searches have climbed, cybersecurity openings have held fairly steady as a share of activity since 2015. Cybersecurity postings averaged 4,300 per million Canadian postings in 2018, roughly matching their 2015 daily average. Yet, despite the recent search momentum, job seeker interest still has a way to go to catch up with cybersecurity’s higher share of job posting activity. Even at its recent December high, cybersecurity’s share of Canadian search activity was still less than a fifth of the field’s share of posting activity.
A job seeker’s market: Cybersecurity postings receive fewer clicks than other tech posts, despite higher salaries
The gap in cybersecurity job search rates relative to job postings suggests employers may find it difficult to recruit qualified staff. In addition, alternative gauges of job seeker interest, like the average number of clicks per posting, also indicate cybersecurity may be seeing fewer applicants than other fields.
Tech jobs generally receive less job seeker attention than other occupations, probably due to the unique skills sought by employers. Still, even among tech roles, cybersecurity job postings receive relatively few clicks per posting. In 2018, the typical cybersecurity posting received 42% fewer clicks than the average Canadian job listing and 31% fewer clicks than the typical tech job posting.
This gap in job seeker interest in cybersecurity roles compared with other tech jobs isn’t due to lower pay, at least when compared with standard tech roles. Rather, annual salaries of cybersecurity jobs posted on Indeed averaged $82,000 in 2018, 14% higher than the $72,000 for tech openings overall. The high pay probably reflects both a narrower talent pool due to the specialized knowledge required, plus the presence in the job market of large, well-paying technology and finance companies.
The combination of relatively few clicks per posting and high salaries points to a cybersecurity job market tilted in favour of job seekers in 2019, notwithstanding the gradual rise in search activity. Given that cybersecurity will remain pivotal for Canadian business and ecommerce in the years ahead, it’s important that today’s strong opportunities draw more job seeker interest to the field, which is most likely to come from younger Canadians entering the tech world.
To identify cybersecurity job postings, we tallied postings from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2018, with job titles including various combinations of terms such as: cybersecurity, security (sécurité) analyst(e), and information security (sécurité). Cybersecurity searches were identified using the same combination of terms. Clicks per posting were calculated monthly, with the 2018 monthly average for all jobs normalized to 1.0.
Brendon Bernard is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the Canadian labour market. His research interests include analyzing how detailed trends in the job market fit in with broader developments in the Canadian economy. Brendon was previously an economist with Department of Finance Canada, where he focused on analyzing Canadian financial sector policy and the U.S. economy. He holds a Master’s in Economics from the Vancouver School of Economics at University of British Columbia, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University.