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2024 Survey Reveals Top Qualities for Cyber Security Talent


At the heart of every successful cyber security company lies a highly skilled and powerful team.  However, attracting and retaining top cyber security talent can sometimes feel less like a strategic game of chance and more like a desperate scramble to fill empty seats.  The concerning reality is that while cyber threats are multiplying at an alarming rate, organizations are struggling to find enough qualified professionals to build their teams.

A Growing Need for Skilled Professionals

This shortage of skilled cybersecurity talent stems from several factors. Some experts point to the potentially overwhelming nature of the role, with professionals facing long hours spent countering relentless cyberattacks. Others suggest a lack of public awareness about the dynamic and rewarding career opportunities within the cybersecurity field. Regardless of the specific reasons, the talent gap poses a significant risk, leaving businesses exposed to potential breaches and disruptions.

But what makes the ideal candidate for this crucial industry?  In a recent study by Cyber Security Tribe, a leading industry community, surveyed over 250 cybersecurity leaders to understand their recruitment priorities in 2024. The survey sheds light on the specific qualities cybersecurity leaders value most when building their dream teams.  In this blog, we'll delve into what those key qualities are, explore the projected growth of the cybersecurity job market, and equip you with the knowledge needed to assemble a talented dream team.


The Top 5 Qualities Cyber Security Leaders Value Most in 2024

1. Beyond the Tech: Prioritizing Passion and Grit

While technical skills are undeniably important, the survey reveals a surprising shift. The top quality leaders seek is passion. It's not just about ticking boxes; it's about a genuine enthusiasm for safeguarding systems from ever-present threats. This intrinsic motivation fuels the dedication and initiative required to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Experience: The Battlefield Veteran

Coming in at a close second is experience. In this fast-paced domain, where every second counts, seasoned professionals who have faced real-world threats become invaluable assets. They bring a wealth of practical knowledge and battle-tested instincts to the table, making them a critical line of defense.

3. Soft Skills: The Power of Communication and Collaboration

Cybersecurity isn't a one-man show. The ability to communicate effectively, collaborate seamlessly within teams, and adapt to constantly changing scenarios is crucial. Strong interpersonal skills enable clear communication within the team and with stakeholders, fostering a culture of security awareness. A strong team player who can bridge the gap between technical jargon and clear communication is a force multiplier. 

4. Certifications: The Badge Matters, But Not Everything

Certifications remain relevant, but their importance seems to be waning slightly. This suggests a growing recognition that real-world experience and demonstrable skills often trump paper qualifications. Don't get us wrong, certifications can showcase a commitment to learning, but a candidate who can walk the walk is even more valuable.

5. Education: A Strong Foundation, But Not the Only Pillar

Formal education rounds out the list. Formal education can provide a strong foundation, but the survey suggests recruiters are placing greater weight on a candidate's tangible skills and proven capabilities that demonstrates their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in practical scenarios.


The Future Looks Bright: A Booming Job Market

The good news for cybersecurity professionals is that the industry is booming. The survey highlights an optimistic outlook for staffing in 2024:

  • Expansion on the Horizon: A significant 41% of respondents anticipate growing their cybersecurity teams, reflecting the ever-increasing need for expertise as organizations prioritize digital security.

  • Stability in the Ranks: A reassuring 59% expect their team size to remain steady, indicating a level of stability within the industry. Existing teams will continue to be vital in maintaining strong cybersecurity postures.

  • Zero Tolerance for Shrinking Teams: Encouragingly, there were zero predictions of cybersecurity staff reductions. This underscores the critical role cybersecurity plays across all sectors.


Building a Resilient Cybersecurity Team

The key takeaway from this report is clear: the human element is paramount in building a strong cybersecurity defense. By prioritizing passion, experience, and soft skills alongside technical expertise, you can empower your team to combat evolving threats effectively.

Are You Ready to Assemble Your Dream Team?

The cybersecurity landscape is brimming with opportunities, both for seasoned professionals and aspiring newcomers.  At Next Level Impacts, we specialize in connecting top cybersecurity talent with leading organizations. If you're looking for support with your cybersecurity talent acquisition strategy, get in touch with our experts.