A cybersecurity skills shortage is taking a toll on organizations, with 80% of IT professionals saying they struggle to fill positions, according to a report by Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In many cases, experience, certification and gaming are more desirable skills than a bachelor's degree, the report says.
The Internet Storm Center and some security companies are warning of a high threat level from a newly publicized Windows vulnerability. "The proof-of-concept exploit is publicly available, and the issue is not easy to fix until Microsoft issues a patch," said ISC's Lenny Zeltser. "... We believe wide-scale exploitation is only a matter of time."
More than half of information security professionals -- 52.8% of them -- received pay increases during 2009 despite the vast effects of the Great Recession, according to a study by (ISC)2. The study went on to report that less than 11% of respondents said their salaries and/or benefits were cut last year, and only 4.8% reported being laid off.
IT professionals who are competing for choice jobs need to pay more attention to their "personal brands," career coaches say. Having a good reputation and well-developed social skills can be just as important as intelligence and technical skill, they say. Their advice for improving a personal brand includes paying attention to appearance, playing up skills and embracing self-promotion.