ISEDJ

Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 18

V18 N1 Pages 22-28

February 2020


Skills, Certifications, or Degrees: What Employers Demand for Entry-level Cybersecurity Jobs


Jim Marquardson
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI 49855, USA

Ahmed Elnoshokaty
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI 49855, USA


Abstract: People starting cybersecurity careers have three main avenues for achieving entry-level job qualifications: learning in-demand skills, earning industry certifications, and graduating with a college degree. Though people can pursue skills, certificates, and degrees together, financial and time constraints often make people focus their efforts to what they feel would help them most in their careers. Those seeking careers in information systems are reasonably asking themselves if the cost of a college degree is a worthwhile investment. In this paper, we analyze 11,938 entry-level job postings for cybersecurity jobs on Dice.com to determine required and desired qualifications. The results show that 7,177 (60%) of entry level cybersecurity jobs require a college degree in a related field. Of those, 2,851 (24%) of jobs prefer a graduate degree. 3,406 (29%) of jobs require a certification. Structured Query Language SQL, Testing, Java, Excel, Oracle, Consulting, and Database skills are listed in 16% of jobs. The most popular certifications are “Certified Information Systems Security Professional CISSP” (listed in 4.8% of jobs), “Information Technology Infrastructure Library ITIL” (listed in 3.9% of jobs), “Security +” (listed in 2.9% of jobs), “Project Management Professional PMP” (listed in 2.75% of jobs), “Information Assurance Technical IAT” (listed in 2.4% of jobs). The selected snapshot data show that required or desired college degrees are listed in 60% of jobs, which is an empirical evidence that college degrees are still in high demand for the field Cybersecurity. However, employers are also looking for certifications and skills.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, industry certification, college degrees, Employment

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N1 Page 22.pdf


Recommended Citation: Marquardson, J., Elnoshokaty, A. (2020). Skills, Certifications, or Degrees: What Employers Demand for Entry-level Cybersecurity Jobs. Information Systems Education Journal, 18(1) pp 22-28. http://isedj.org/2020-18/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019)