As with all volumes of the Tech.Skills.Now series, this piece aims to communicate where to find employees with these highly sought-after skills while also highlighting locations in the United States where employers stand the best chance of gaining a competitive hiring advantage and establishing themselves as an “employer of choice”.
Python is a general-purpose programming language first released in 1991. Recently, it’s grown to become one of the most in-demand programming languages due to its high-level syntax and wide range in functionality. Hiring demand for these skills is intensifying and has been led in large part by companies within industry sectors such as Software, IT, Financial Services, and Higher Education.
Figure 1: National Indicators
Hiring demand for these skills is intensifying and has been led in large part by companies within industry sectors such as Defense and Space, IT Services, Computer and Network Security, and the military. While the largest skills concentrations are currently found within tech, government, and defense contracting, there is growing evidence that demand for Cybersecurity skills is growing rapidly in business sectors as diverse as: Life Sciences, Marketing, Financial Services, and even Food & Beverage.
Which industries currently employ these skills?
Figure 2: Total Professionals with Cybersecurity Skills by Industry
Which industries have the fastest-growing demand?
Figure 3: Percent Change in Professionals with Cybersecurity Skills, Top 100 Industries (2019)
Where are the top talent markets today?
The Washington, DC region (including Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland) has the greatest concentration of professionals with Cybersecurity skills in the US by a wide margin. This is due in large part to the demand from federal agencies and government contractors. Other major metro areas with sizable and growing technology sectors comprise the remainder of the top 10 list.
Figure 4: Total Professionals with Cybersecurity Skills by Market
Of the top 10 talent markets, three also ranked among the fastest growing over the last year (i.e., New York City, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Atlanta). New York State had three total markets among the fastest growing (i.e., New York City, Buffalo, and Albany) while Texas had two (i.e., DFW and Houston). The fastest growing markets tended to be a combination of lower cost major metro areas (e.g., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston) and emerging second tier markets with an above average concentration of technology talent (e.g., Des Moines, Cincinnati, and Albany). Only one high cost major market, New York City, was also among the fastest growing. Robust demand for Cybersecurity skills in NYC is being driven primarily by two of that city’s dominant industries – financial services and technology.
Figure 5: Top 10 Growth Markets / Annual Change in Professionals with Cybersecurity Skills
Where is the talent coming from?
The colleges and universities producing the greatest number of graduates with Cybersecurity skills tend to be co-located in markets with the highest density and/or growth rates for these skills. Primarily, they are clustered in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US. Four of the top 10 schools are located in or around the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area. Upstate New York has two schools in the top 10 which perhaps explains the emerging Cybersecurity clusters in nearby markets such as Buffalo and the Capital District (Albany-Schenectady-Troy).
Figure 6: Top 10 Schools by Total Recent Graduates with Cybersecurity Skills (2016-19)
Where is the talent going?
Talent migration trends over the past year for professionals with Cybersecurity skills has also favored markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. New York City tops the list for net migration gains along with two medium-sized metro areas in Virginia (Hampton Roads and Richmond). Philadelphia and St. Louis round out the top five markets. Once again, these areas tend to be in close proximity to the universities producing the greatest number of Cybersecurity graduates.
The metro areas losing the greatest net number of trained Cybersecurity professionals due to out-migration tend to be more established higher cost technology markets in the western United States. Many of these suffer from rapidly increasing costs of living and housing that may be driving some employees to seek relocation to lower cost markets with extensive job opportunities for professionals with Cybersecurity skills.
Figure 7: Markets Gaining and Losing Cyber Talent
Where is the strongest hiring opportunity?
Finally, CBRE Labor Analytics examined the ratio of existing professionals with Cybersecurity skills in each US market compared to active job postings for positions requiring an expertise in Cybersecurity. This comparison is one way to identify geographies with strong hiring potential. Markets with the highest ratios of qualified candidates to active job postings are likely to provide a lower risk hiring environment with limited competition and below average turnover rates.
Another emerging Upstate New York market, Rochester, tops this list due in part to a high concentration of native talent and the output of graduates from the nearby Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and University of Rochester. Three markets in Florida also make the top 10 list. Generally, the greatest hiring opportunities tend to be in less-traditional emerging technology hubs with lower cost profiles that are anchored by major research universities and/or military installations. These areas are most likely to afford opportunities for new companies to enter the market and establish themselves as an “Employer of Choice” with access to the market’s top Cybersecurity talent.
Figure 8: Top 10 Markets Based on Qualified Candidates per Active Job Posting (2020)