Security Skills Give Open Source Professionals a Career Advantage


In today’s market, open source professionals with security expertise are crucial players on an employer roster. The growing use of cloud and big data, as well as the overhaul and expansion of many companies’ tech infrastructures, are driving the demand and need for professionals with this skillset.

According to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, 14 percent of hiring managers and recruiters surveyed believe security to be the most important open source skill to date, ranking third just behind cloud technologies (51 percent) and networking (21 percent). Employers aren’t the only ones that see the value in security; 16 percent of open source professionals surveyed cited security as the most important open source skill and the biggest driver for open source growth in 2016.

Open source professionals with security expertise are in demand.
Perhaps, this is the reason why professionals with a background in security are amongst the most difficult for employers to recruit. Recent Dice research shows that landing security talent is one of hiring managers and recruiters’ biggest challenges, finding them only slightly easier to attract than software developers and Java professionals. For companies looking to become more “open,” having team members who can provide infrastructure support as well as oversee and protect its large sets of proprietary data is critical. Thus, demand for professionals with security skills is continuously growing.

For open source professionals looking to familiarize themselves with security skills, below are just a few that you should pay particular attention to, as they were found to be amongst the most requested security skills on Dice.

  • Network security: As companies build out their tech infrastructures, they need team members who can monitor and manage their networks. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that job postings requesting network security related skills are up 5 percent year-over-year on Dice. Professionals with network security experience should be familiar with firewalls, VPN, CheckPoint and IPS. In addition, they should be well-versed in skills like Python for scripting purposes and Apache Pig for data analysis purposes.   

  • Information Security: Although companies today are always looking to keep up with the latest trends and be innovative, they are anything but risk takers when it comes to their proprietary information. That is why companies need professionals with information security experience. Professionals who have a wide range of information security experience and have a strong working knowledge of vulnerability and risk management tools (NIST) and intrusion detection systems are crucial hires from an employer and recruiter’s perspective. That is why Dice has approximately 3,000 job postings related to information security on any given day, representing 3-4 percent of total postings on the site.

  • Network and Web-Related Protocols (e.g. TCP/IP, IPSEC, and routing protocols): As a security professional, you need to be familiar with network and web-related protocols in order to properly do your job. These protocols are the underpinnings of the Internet and are key for security professionals to know. Information security professionals to security engineers alike are asked by employers on Dice to be educated in these protocols.

Having professionals with security acumen are necessary for any employer. These professionals are of particular importance, though, to organizations that rely heavily on big data and cloud services. These companies need professionals who are able to store, manage and process large sets of data and ensure that it is not misused or mishandled. For this reason, the demand and need for professionals with security expertise continues to grow, with both employers and professionals alike recognizing its current and future value. Thus, as an open source professional, brushing up on security-related skills may be an advantageous career move.

Yuri Bykov manages Data Science at Dice.