December 2023 Jobs Report

The last month of the year; everyone is abuzz with closing deals, wrapping up activities, and hunting for jobs! Q4 is one of the busiest times of year for job hunting, so it comes as now surprise that even in a slower economy this month’s job report is bursting at the seams with opportunities! If you are feeling like the market is still gloom and doom, don’t despair because cybersecurity pre-sales is still in a great place and looking quite healthy. Let’s dive into the numbers for this month!

This is the strongest hiring month for all of 2023 as everyone is hiring to fill roles before the start of the new year.

A Look at the Numbers

Throughout 2023, I’ve been closely tracking the titles used to describe the pre-sales function. In the beginning of the year, it was pretty clear that the cybersecurity industry was clinging to tradition and using the title of “Sales Engineer”. However, the word “Sales” has slowly been replaced by the term “Solutions”. Today, in the last month of 2023, the use of “Sales Engineer” vs “Solutions Engineer” is almost split down the middle (55% vs 45% respectively). I suspect we will continue to see this shift even more in 2024 as pre-sales takes on a wider set of responsibilities with even larger impact to organizations.

The Hiring Data

  • This month 89 companies are hiring, out of 250 tracked (36%). This is a very strong ratio given the current market conditions. Additionally, many companies are hiring for multiple roles.

  • Out of the 89 companies that are presently hiring, a whopping 71 of them (80%) have two or more open roles. Insane!

  • As I mentioned earlier, this is THE month for hiring each year. There has been a huge increase in open roles since the summer lull. In total there are 300+ open roles this month, an 8% increase since the last hiring report in Q3.

  • In a minor win for job hunters, 82 roles, or 27%, of all open roles have a compensation range listed. This is more than double the percentage of roles that listed compensation at the beginning of the year. Those pay transparency laws are really starting to take hold in the market.

  • In one of the strongest trends we’ve seen this year, the remote vs in person numbers are still holding very strong in terms of being (almost) an even split. There were 139 open roles listed as remote-first (46%)…just about half. While travel has seen a slight uptick towards the end of this year, it has not returned to anywhere near the levels of pre-covid. With interest rates, commercial rents, and travel all still being insanely high…I suspect this trend will continue through most of 2024.

  • Unsurprisingly, the majority of open roles are for individual contributors (IC). The breakdown this month is 92% IC vs 8% Management across all open roles. This does represent a slight uptick in Management roles across open pre-sales roles, however a friendly reminder that climbing the ladder into management isn’t the only way to grow within pre-sales.

The Geographical Data

  • All of the open roles this month are spread across 35 countries globally. While the US still makes up the largest group, EMEA is still growing. The UK and Germany are both coming in strong for cybersecurity pre-sales job growth as well. For our friends over in APAC, South Korea has taken over as the place to be!

  • The United States has notched up to (55%) of all open roles, showing really strong growth for the end of the year. While hiring globally has dropped a touch, more countries are hiring which is a good indicator for those looking for a change.

  • While the US is hiring for the most open roles at the moment, the UK is in second place, and Germany comes in strong for third place.

  • The most interesting global opportunity this month is in Bangkok, Thailand.

Report Methodology

When building the report each month there are a few parameters that we follow to ensure the data is as accurate as possible. Below is an outline of those parameters:

  • The total number of organizations tracked this month was 250
  • There is no limitation on funding to be included in the report, we have organizations from seed stage all the way through publicly traded
  • In order for an organization to be included they must have at least one pre-sales job opening listed
  • Any job listed as “remote” is classified by the ability to work anywhere in the country or the ability to live in a large geographic area (e.g. anywhere in the east coast of the US)
  • If a job requires you to live in a specific state within the US, then the job location is classified as the state, even if you can work remotely within the state itself
  • For organizations that have more than one pre-sales role open, we limit the maximum number of jobs included in the report at ten (although we note the surplus below)

While we try not to change these parameters from month to month to ensure data quality, we are always considering new information as it becomes available.

Monthly Overages

This month, four organizations hit the limit of jobs to be included in the report. They include:

  • Cloudflare: 20 Open Pre-Sales Roles
  • Zscaler: 37 Open Pre-Sales Roles
  • Fortinet: 69 Open Pre-Sales Roles
  • Palo Alto Networks: 40 Open Pre-Sales Roles

A special note for this last month of the year. Even with Fortinet and Cloudflare having gone through layoffs this year, both companies have an abundance of open pre-sales roles which is a testament to the strength of the cybersecurity pre-sales market.

If you are looking to break into your first pre-sales role, or just looking to change things up, we have several resources that can help. Check out the following to get started:

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