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Cyber security in India: a booming industry with growing demand and increased student potential

With the number of cyber attacks in the country increasing in frequency, demand for cybersecurity professionals is rising, as highlighted by a study by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).

Today, more and more people are opting for digital payments, leaving them exposed to threats from cybercriminals. As cases of cybercrime soar, there is an urgent need—now more than ever—for companies to invest in skilled cybersecurity experts, to help protect their systems against the deadliest of cyber raids.

In fact, Burning Glass Technologies, an established labour market analytics firm, found that employers are ready to hire specialists who can anticipate or foil these attacks before they threaten to escalate. Thus, the field of cybersecurity is striding upwards and forwards.


Good prospects, great pay

During a recent National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a research was conducted on jobs and salaries in cybersecurity, with the numbers revealing that analysts employed in the sector can expect to earn much higher compared to professionals in other in-demand occupations. 

According to Siva Prasad N., Chief Business Officer at HR Specialists Teamlease, salaries of cybersecurity professionals are increasing side-by- side with the demand for such expertise. And as per data from Quess Corp, a business services provider, the number of cybersecurity-related jobs increased by 113% in the last 12 months.

On average, cybersecurity analysts can expect to earn Rs.7.5 lakhs (approx.) per annum in the early stages of their career, while an expert with a decade’s experience could earn around Rs.22 lakhs per annum. 

Still, there remains a sizable gap between the demand for and supply of trained cybersecurity specialists- a gap that will likely take time to fill. In fact, a recent survey conducted by NASSCOM found a shortage of a million cybersecurity analysts—too large a deficit at a time when cyber threats are proliferating. 

Which is why now is the ideal time for anyone out of college and seeking a well-paying job, to take advantage of openings in the cybersecurity realm. And a critical part of the process of meeting criteria for such a job profile is the cybersecurity postgraduate certification. 

After graduation, the ideal next step would be to enrol in an online course for cybersecurity that offers an innovative and industry-relevant curriculum curated by industry leaders, which will give a competitive advantage to students who seek to upskill in this domain. Those with work experience of between two and five years can apply for such courses, which, beyond helping firm up practical knowledge, will enable crucial hands-on learning.


The promise of digital security

In a survey carried out by NASSCOM DSCI, ‘India Cybersecurity Services Landscape,’ it was found that 37 per cent of organisations find it tough to zero in on the right talent, and thus, are focusing on up-skilling or re-skilling their workforce to better safeguard their organisation from cyber attacks, an extra cost businesses are more than willing to incur.

At present, India boasts a greater number of opportunities in this sector than the United States and the United Kingdom. According to industry research, the following positions are the most sought after, while also offering maximum career development and scope for professional growth: Cyber Security Analyst, Security Architect, Cyber Security Manager, Chief Information Security Officer, Network Security Engineer.

Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had envisaged that demand for Information Security Analysts would rise by 37 per cent between 2020 and 2028. Manifestly, the cybersecurity job market is growing and will continue to expand as the ‘digital’ way of life becomes ever more entrenched in our worlds. 

Globally, it is estimated that the cybersecurity services market will be worth US$7.6 million in 2022, its CAGR having expanded year-on-year by 21.2 per cent in the seven years since 2015. 

Moreover, the Data Security Council of India has forecast that the cybersecurity ecosystem will expand up to a point where some 10 lakh professionals will be required by 2025. Meanwhile, the ‘NASSCOM Cyber Security Task Force’ was created to grow the cybersecurity industry’s market share by 2025. The goal? That India will have trained a million certified professionals, and paved the way for the emergence of 100 security product companies.



With a robust push from the Government and Corporates towards Digital India, India is at the cusp of a cyber revolution. At a time when there is a holistic growing demand, a stringent cyber workforce is a need of the hour. Thus, Indian edtech players are inducing early cyber education through specially curated curriculum, hackathon and internal projects and competitions to have increased student potential for the Indian cyber space and elevate the booming cyber security industry in India.

(The author is Mr. Gaurav Bhatia, CEO at RISE and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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