While IT employment numbers may be lagging, there is a glimmer of hope. The number of cybersecurity professionals is projected to grow at an annual compound rate of nearly 14 percent from now until 2008, according to a study released in November.
"The Information Security Workforce Study," conducted by IDC (a sister company of CIO's publisher) for the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2, projects that the number of information security professionals worldwide will be 2.1 million in 2008, up from 1.3 million currently.
The survey of 5,371 full-time information security professionals in 80 countries found that 97 percent of respondents had moderate to very high expectations for career growth. Security professionals have also experienced growth in job prospects, career advancement, higher base salaries, and salary premiums for certification at faster rates than other areas of IT.
The survey results speak to the growing importance of information security, which "is beginning to be recognized more broadly as an enterprisewide area," says James R. Wade, a member of (ISC)2's board of directors.