Updated: Aug 27
There has been a shift in how companies are choosing to address their cybersecurity challenges that are hard to ignore. According to a survey of 850 small and medium-sized businesses across numerous countries, 77% of them expect at least half of their cybersecurity needs will be outsourced within the next five years. Furthermore, of those surveyed, 78 percent plan to invest more in cybersecurity within the next year. The number of companies that have traditional in-house cybersecurity teams is slowly dwindling due to the competition of recruiting and costs associated with onboarding. A clear benefit is the ability to hire a specialized individual for a specific cybersecurity issue and this circumstance aligns quite well with the on-demand model of sourcing expertise.
Reiterating from before, there is a clear and undeniable shift in how companies are choosing to solve their cybersecurity issues and freelancers are at the forefront of this solution.
Hiring Freelancers just makes sense
Because freelancers are independent contractors, employers save costs by hiring them as opposed to hiring full-time employees and having to deal with additional expenses such as taxes and insurance. Instead, they solely focus on the payment for the service that was agreed upon for a specific project. Secondarily, by limiting onboarding processes, many freelancers are able to hit the ground running on projects also. The quicker the hire is able to get to work, the task at hand is completed.
Smaller businesses benefit greatly from such an arrangement but larger corporations are beginning to take notice as well.
The jobs are out there
A common question amongst those looking into pursuing a career in cybersecurity is, “how many cybersecurity jobs are out there?”. According to Cybersecurityvenures.com, there are expected to be 4 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2022, a 20% jump from 2015. This number is drawn from the amount of cyber-related work that needs to be done and how companies are growing their teams to compensate for the hires that need to be made. Needless to say, cybersecurity work is highly sought after in the current market and is only projected to grow over the coming decade.
Due to these facts, the current environment has heightened the need for qualified cybersecurity freelancers to fill these talent gaps to bolster organizations’ security stances. But how do you get started and position yourself for a competitive career in cybersecurity? The next step is putting together the credentials and building your expertise to make sure you are in that pool of qualified cybersecurity professionals that companies covet.
Making yourself look good to employers
Companies looking to hire cyber talent look at your credentials, certifications, and relevant experience when deciding if you will be the best fit to complete the desired project. Here are some avenues that you should explore to build your credentials based on what’s right for you:
Public Industry Certifications: For those starting out, a quick internet search may reveal a wide array of acronyms for online or classroom-taught certifications of uncertain standards and direction. Certifying organizations like CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, and ISC^2 are examples of official entities offering a broad range of industry certification options.
Traditional Degree Programs: For those who are starting out from school or college or those who are planning a traditional continuing education route to a cybersecurity career, there are some choices of universities with excellent and world-renowned cybersecurity programs. Shop around and find the university for you. Read reviews, check out their curriculums, meet with faculty, and try connecting with alumni to get the real deal on the value of the program.
Bootcamps and private certifications: If you are looking for a shorter and faster path to building credentials, boot camps, and online private certifications are an option. The timing can range from a few weeks to a few months and cost between $7,000 - $20,000.
Non-profit talent development initiatives: It’s never been a better time to find initiatives supporting young people pursuing careers in the tech industry. Numerous enterprises provide cyber programs for urban youth and actively work to empower people early in their careers who have been historically denied opportunities. This creates a diverse and inclusive workforce and is ultimately changing the lives of people around the country. Enabling people of all backgrounds to work towards a career in cybersecurity is good for the industry, good for the individuals, good for the world.
You can find more in-depth resources on all of this here!
The demand for cybersecurity services is higher than it's ever been and companies are beginning to explore options to address skill gaps and unique hiring challenges. Cybersecurity freelancing will continue to gain traction in the years to come.
Cyber Pop-up is an on-demand cybersecurity platform that provides services to companies by connecting them with vetted cybersecurity experts. We are seeking experts with the passion, determination, and excellence needed to succeed in the cybersecurity industry.