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Looking for a job that pays higher than a cabinet secretary? Cybersecurity experts get bigger checks 

by Kiko Cueto

WANT a fat paycheck that is more than what a cabinet secretary gets? Then be a cybersecurity expert!

This was the advice of no less than the chief of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, as he said that his salary pales in comparison to that of the salaries of cybersecurity experts.

“You know, the salary in the cybersecurity arena is quite good,” DICT secretary Ivan John Uy.

“In most cases, the salary is higher than any Cabinet secretary. So it’s a very, very lucrative profession and the hiring is there,” he added. 

Secretary Uy made the statement as the number and frequency of cyberattacks had been increasing and thwarting an attempt at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration on their data.

He added that the government needs experts who can protect government agencies, businesses and even individuals from such attacks. 

Secretary Uy said that his salary as a Cabinet Secretary, Uy is classified under Salary Grade 31, which gives him a pay range of P278,434 to P318,806 under the fourth tranche of Salary Standardization Law of 2019. 

“It’s really a seller’s market, and so a lot of large companies are hiring; the cybercriminal organizations are also hiring. And so there’s a competition for talents and, you know, Filipinos are known to be digital natives. We love our gadgets. We love our technology and so, I think, you know, developing the right skills to address this growing challenge is just correct,” he added. 

The cabinet secretary also revealed that there are more than two million job vacancies in the field of cybersecurity, which can be attributed to the shift of many businesses to online commerce when the pandemic started.

“Many of the e-commerce platforms and e-wallet providers are now catching up and starting to build up their cybersecurity in order to protect customers, in order to protect clients, in order to protect the general public from scammers, from phishing, from ransomware and many other threats,” Uy said. 

He said that part of the DICT’s programs include the upskilling of the government’s cybersecurity experts.

This is meant to better equip them to deter cyber criminals who have become very “innovative”, “smart” and “adept in social engineering”. 

“So, our target is nationwide po ‘no. So, currently with the resources that we have, we’re currently upskilling government workers muna. But nasa programa na po namin iyan within the year to be able to deploy a more inclusive cyber training to the general public,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Uy said that they are now working with different institutions such as colleges, universities, training institutes for the needed upskilling of talents.

“We are also working with industry to provide those contents. Alam ninyo, maraming mga cyber security providers like Google, Microsoft and mayroon silang mga certification programs, training and certificate programs. Ang ano lang diyan is minsan may pagkamahal sa training and then eventually, magbabayad din agad kayo for certification,” he added. 

“Ngunit kung gusto nila na mas advance na training na magkakaroon sila ng certification, we will be negotiating with these companies to provide maybe a volume discount na okay kung makapag-enroll kami ng 10,000 students ito iyong rate na ibibigay ninyo sa ICT Academy ng DICT,” Uy also said. 

Likewise, the DICT said that they are working on the possibility of providing scholarships to those with unique talents and potential in the field of cybersecurity. 

“Perhaps for some of those na nakita namin na, “Aba, mapursige” sa pag-aaral at may talento na maging super hacker or something like that. So, kung may mga ganoon talents, then we’ll identify them and provide them perhaps with scholarship para ma-level up naman natin iyong ating mga experts,” Uy said. 

With reports from: Sofia Bernardo

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