Fancy a well-paying job that requires no prior experience? Cybersecurity in China may be your answer

Demand for cybersecurity specialists in China surged by 232 per cent year on year in the first half of 2017, according to online recruiter Zhaopin

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 September, 2017, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 September, 2017, 9:08pm

Fancy a job that requires little or no experience and pays about a quarter more than the average salary expectation of a jobseeker?

Those are some of the incentives being offered by Chinese employers trying to attract young cybersecurity specialists to guard their computer systems in a world of growing online threats.

Demand for cybersecurity talent in China surged by 232 per cent year-on-year in the first half of this year on, one of the nation’s biggest online recruitment websites, the company said in a recent joint report with 360 Internet Security Centre.

Though the rise in demand was most evident in February, the peak job hopping season, with an annual increase of 327 per cent, the trend has continued into the second half. Appetite in July soared 300 per cent, the report said.

“Nearly half of cybersecurity jobs require no work experience, reflecting a severe shortfall of veteran specialists as businesses are lowering the bar on experience to fill the vacancies,” the report said.

The average salary offered to cybersecurity professionals in China was 9,391 yuan (US$1,450) per month in the first half, 25 per cent higher than the average expectation of 7,533 yuan. This shows businesses are willing to pay a sizeable premium to attract cybersecurity specialist, whose coding skills are needed to protect businesses against hackers, cyber extortionists and online terrorists.

Earning a higher degree might not make candidates stand out in the online security industry; only 2.5 per cent of the companies surveyed required a master's degree or higher.

Instead, businesses appear to be looking for professional skills demonstrated by specific certificates.

For instance, businesses prioritise candidates with the Certified Information Security Professional qualification.

“Looking ahead, big data analysis and emergency response engineers will be some of the most sought-after talent among cybersecurity professionals in three to five years,” the report said, citing the growing application of big data analysis in spotting potential online threats and the need for a swift response to restore operations.

Demand for cybersecurity talent was highest in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Guangzhou, which accounted for more than half of nationwide demand, the report said. Beijing alone accounted for 26 per cent of the total demand, thanks to the large number of government bodies, big state-owned enterprises and cybersecurity firms in the capital.

It appears that a career in online security is very much the choice of millennials, with candidates aged 25 to 34 accounting for 71 per cent of all jobseekers in the sector.

China’s cybersecurity law that took effect on June 1 is expected to keep fuelling the need for top talent to keep pace with China’s legal environment, said recruiters.