Following help wanted postings is one technique an analyst uses to measure the state of a particular industry. Competitive Intelligence analysts keep an eye on job postings as well. They can tell what a competitor is up to by the specific qualifications listed. C++? Java? GUI developers? All are details that can paint a picture of future developments at a technology company.
I used to regularly search Monster.com for the key word “security” which was a good way to gage demand for security people. The trouble with that is you also get all the security guard positions (which, btw, is a bigger industry than IT security.)
This article from the Washington Post says that the US Federal Government is having trouble competing with defense contractors for security talent. Yet, I had lunch with a partner at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms a couple of weeks ago and he told me that the government is out-bidding them for security people in D.C.
If you are on Linkedin do a search on “cyber” in the advanced job tab. You get 1,012 results. Some of the titles are interesting:
Cyber Watch Analyst at SRA International
Network Intelligence Analyst, Packet Data... at CyberCoders
Sr. Cyber Security Intelligence Analyst at Verisign
Cyber Warrior - C/C++ Java Developer at un-named
Cyber Expert at SRC
Cyber Gladiator V at Raytheon
Cyber Elite Ninja III at Raytheon
This demand for security savvy talent is going to have repercussions. One is that salaries, at least in the D.C. area, are going to increase across the board. This hiring binge is also a sign of a transformation in the security industry as governments and defense contractors muscle their way into the space. The security industry is entering a transformational phase. Within a short timeframe, two years at the most, the security industry will no longer be dominated by the handful of large security vendors, Symantec, McAfee, RSA the Security Division of EMC, or IBM. It will be dominated by large defense contractors. Look for major acquisitions by Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, and Lockheed Martin in 2010.