Dec 11, 2019 - Economy & Business

D.C. metro leads on cybersecurity talent but trails in AI workers

Reproduced from Carlin et. al, 2019, "Building the tech talent pipeline"; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from Carlin et. al, 2019, "Building the tech talent pipeline"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national capital region (Washington, D.C., metro area) accounts for 12% of all U.S. workers in the information security field — more than double the San Francisco Bay Area.

Yes, but: When it comes to artificial intelligence talent, San Francisco and Seattle have almost 40% of the total workforce.

Why it matters: "Regions should consider what kinds of skills they need to achieve to support their local economies, and then choose a couple of areas to make bigger bets (based on current gaps relative to where there is demand) to help an area thrive," said McKinsey partner Brooke Weddle, who co-authored a report with the Greater Washington Partnership to evaluate the D.C. region's talent pipeline.

  • The large presence of the defense industry in the Washington, D.C. area helps draw in info-sec talent. Meanwhile, Big Tech companies on the West Coast are among the biggest investors in AI development.

Quick take: Data security and AI are increasingly intertwined, and the potential for adversaries to use AI to automate large-scale attacks is a major threat. So look for these employment clusters to even out as the fields integrate over time.

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