CompTIA and Burning Glass Magnify Cybersec Employment Openings

When I go trolling for blog fodder, IT industry association CompTIA's press releases always come in for review. I don't often find something usable there, but every now and then they come up with a real doozy.


The results of their emerging partnership with analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) is one such whopper. I couldn't help but notice that on Nov. 29 and 30, CompTIA dropped 6 press releases about IT security job openings.


Ed T Figure 1 12 9 2016

Source: Cyber Seek home page


The flurry of releases highlighted large numbers of cybersecurity jobs in the following states, on a one-press-release-per-state basis: Colorado, Illinois, Florida, California, New York, and Texas.


Quick perusal of boiler plate for a couple of these items led me to the Cyber Seek heat map, and the realization that knowing where the jobs are is a tool that interested IT practitioners and aspiring IT professionals can put to good use.


Here's a different way to understand the heat map shown, where the darker the blue, the more cybersecurity jobs a state has to offer:

Jobs Available Qualifying US States
Fewer than 670 Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Vermont, Maine
670-1.3K South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, Delaware, New Hampshire
1.3K-2.2K Hawaii, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Rhode Island
2.2K-3.9K Utah, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina
3.9K-8.7K Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Connecticut
8.7K-12.7K Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina
12.7K-45K California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida

Cyber Seek Ed T jobs ahead

Obviously, when the map designers set the cutoff points for job counts, they were seeking a balanced distribution. None of the afore-listed categories has more than eight states, and none of them has fewer than six. It's also interesting that the press releases included mostly states from the "highest number" category (Illinois, California, Net York, Florida and Texas) and one from the second-highest category (Colorado).


I guess the PR folks went after the big states first, and by the time they got to the second tier, adding one more from that category was enough. It does make a pretty telling demonstration of the numbers of cyber security jobs now available, and helps to put them in the places where those jobs can be found.


I can't help but see this as a cool tool for IT professionals in general. Even if you don't use it to look for a cyber security job, it sure tells you where the tech jobs may be found in the greatest numbers.


Check it out! There's a lot of other interesting information and infographics on the Cyber Seek site.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.