Exploring the Need for Security Skills in the DevOps Jobs Market

March 14, 2024
| DevSecOps

Getting more done in less time is a goal all companies strive for. In the field of software development, DevOps is making this happen. The DevOps methodology has revolutionized software development and deployment by streamlining the relationship between developers and operations teams. Businesses that have adopted DevOps are reaping the benefits of faster software delivery and more stable operating environments, so it is no surprise that DevOps has become one of the highly sought-after career fields.

The DevOps job market shows just how valued DevOps has become. The average salary for DevOps engineer jobs is over $109,039 per year (Glassdoor, 2023). The DevOps market is expected to grow at a 19.7% CAGR during the forecast period, from an estimated USD 10.4 billion in 2023 to USD 25.5 billion in 2028 (MarketsandMarkets, 2023). That is some pretty impressive growth for any career field.

At the same time, integrating security into DevOps jobs has become a higher priority. Since custom applications handle sensitive and proprietary data, possessing security skills is becoming necessary in the DevOps jobs market. If you’ve been thinking about making a career move into DevOps, you should be aware of the increasing importance of security in the DevOps jobs market.

What are the New Skills Employers are Looking For?

DevOps engineer skills have been in demand for quite some time. However, now that the career field has become more established, employers are looking for a broader set of skills. Companies have had years to refine their software deployment processes and are now putting out some very specific DevOps job requirements.

For example, familiarity with Unix and Linux environments is now a common DevOps job requirement. Much of the automation that powers DevOps is accomplished through scripting Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. Tasks such as text processing, system administration, and file handling (i.e., copying and moving files) are handled via scripts. Experience creating, modifying, and scheduling shell scripts will quickly become a requirement for DevOps jobs.

An understanding of the tools and apps commonly found in Linux environments is now a required DevOps engineer skill. Employers are looking for candidates who can work with version control systems like Git, the Apache web server, and containerization tools such as Docker and Kubernetes.

Above every other new skill, though, is the need for strong DevOps security skills. The speed of deployment in the early years of DevOps could lead to security issues getting only minimal attention. Traditional IT security methods are often not a good fit for DevOps environments. Security in DevOps should be automated as much as possible, like much of the rest of DevOps, but there is now less tolerance for unsecured code in deployed software projects.

Employers are now looking for engineers with the ability to build risk-averse and security-compliant apps but at the speed of DevOps. Going forward, this will likely be the top priority among all DevOps engineer skills.

Growing Significance of Security in DevOps Jobs Requirements

This emphasis on security skills in the DevOps jobs market can be directly tied to the increasing threat landscape. In many ways, it’s easier than ever for those with bad intentions to get started with cybercrime. In the past, hackers had to write scripts and craft custom tools to carry out their nefarious work; today, the means to accomplish the same tasks can be freely downloaded if someone is so inclined. While some people may try hacking tools to see what they can do with them and do not have any evil intent, the threat level rises with such a lower barrier to entry.

Ransomware is also rising, representing one of the most severe threats to enterprise application security. As a company’s data is often its most valuable asset, malicious hackers have more motivation to hold digital assets for ransom. And most important to the DevOps market, the window of time to patch vulnerabilities is shrinking. This means it is more important than ever to identify and address security issues and ship an updated version.

In 2023, 22,000 application vulnerabilities were discovered every day (Forbes, 2023). In response, companies looking to bolster their staff with more DevOps jobs are now emphasizing security. Businesses need the speed and flexibility that DevOps brings to their application development lifecycle, but they need DevOps to be more secure and respond to threats faster.

Integration of Security with DevOps Lifecycle

Those who accept new DevOps jobs should change the approach and attitude that has always applied to the DevOps lifecycle. Collaboration between security teams and DevOps professionals must become a part of the lifecycle while maintaining speed and automation.

A higher level of security can be integrated into DevOps by using automated scanning tools. Artificial intelligence tools, such as large language models, that power popular tools like ChatGPT can also be applied to DevOps scanning practices. Code can be scanned as it is written, both by developers’ programming tools and external tools.

Automated scanning can also be applied to the other tools in the DevOps lifecycle. Much of today’s DevOps jobs are built on open-source tools and third-party container images. The programming environments that developers use, particularly on Linux machines, tend to have a lot of external dependencies written by third parties. While these tools and products are typically safe, they present an avenue for malicious code to be injected into the development process. Scanning containers and external code can help neutralize these potential threats.

Continuous improvement and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is one of the foundational concepts in DevOps. However, CI/CD pipelines have traditionally focused on bug fixes. A shift in attitude that CI/CD should also address security issues will be key to integrating security into the DevOps lifecycle. Teams that have accomplished this now often refer to themselves as DevSecOps, reflecting the increased emphasis on security.

How EC-Council’s DevSecOps Certification Helps DevOps Engineers Upgrade Their Security Skills

Cybersecurity professionals can acquire the skills necessary to design, implement, and manage secure applications and infrastructure via the EC-Council Certified DevSecOps Engineer (E|CDE). In the E|CDE course, you’ll learn how the security bottlenecks of DevOps led to the emergence of DevSecOps. You’ll discover how the philosophy and culture of DevSecOps is enhancing collaboration between development and operations teams in today’s DevOps jobs and why that’s essential for the threat landscape of the future.

In the more than 80 labs in the E|CDE, you’ll integrate real-world tools such as Eclipse and GitHub with Jenkins to build applications. At the same time, you will learn how to integrate threat modeling tools like Threat Dragon and ThreatSpec to integrate security into the DevOps process. You gain the skills for DevOps that employers look for today while practicing in popular enterprise cloud environments like AWS and Azure. Please visit the E|CDE page for more information on program details.


Forbes. (2023, February 27). 4 Trends To Expect From The Cyber Landscape In 2023.


Glassdoor. (2024, February 25). How much does a Devops Engineer make?


MarketsandMarkets. (2023, March). DevOps Market.


About the Author

Leaman Crews is a former newspaper reporter, publisher, and editor with over 25 years of professional writing experience. He is also a former IT director specializing in writing about tech in an enjoyable way.

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