Skill Gap in Cybersecurity

This article won’t be another article acknowledging the huge cybersecurity skill gap. We are all aware that globally a few million specialists could easily get a job in that industry. Let’s focus on the obstacles and solutions allowing to facilitate the hiring process instead.

In the last few years, cybersecurity professionals have been experiencing extreme stress or burnout. According to a last year’s Forrester’s survey, 65% of them considered leaving their job because of it. This high level of burnout is paramount for cybersecurity professionals’ decision to leave their jobs. For some of them, it means leaving the industry altogether. To some extent, this is an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last two years, cybersecurity specialists have been asked to take on heavier workloads as companies undergo digital transformations. At the same time companies aren’t increasing wages to compensate for it. Since these jobs remained in high demand, many workers easily found another position and started getting a substantially higher salary. Once these specialists leave, the company has a nearly impossible mission to replace them.

A competitive and adequate salary is important, but a proper set of benefits is the actual way to fight burnout and keep employees. Flexible work options are one of the methods to improve its quality. Another idea may be offering remote work opportunities. This solution supports retention and can be helpful for managers in expanding the hiring pool to a global scale.

However, companies quite often forget that working in the cybersecurity industry requires continuous training. Specialists must learn constantly about the newly discovered vulnerabilities in currently used technology to stay on track. It is essential for them to follow new cyber solutions as their security has not been properly tested by the brutal reality habited by cybercriminals.

The willingness to acquire knowledge is a characteristic of cybersecurity specialists. This particular eagerness to expand the competencies and gain new skills may become one of the foundations of human resources policy. The development opportunity can be a key benefit that will build better relationships with the employer and compensate for inconveniences. This policy is not only about access to trainings. More important is the creation of a proper path of development in cooperation with the employee. It will allow them to develop skills in the direction that is suitable. The key role in this aspect is a career advisor who will create a development plan for each employee. This solution is also beneficial for companies, which in this way acquire the necessary competencies using the available resources. The skill gap in the labor market makes it difficult to hire a specialist in a particular area – a better idea for companies is to equip staff with desirable knowledge through trainings.

The internet makes it easy to learn new skills without access to a physical classroom. However, the vast amount of content online also opens the door to training programs that employers may not view as legitimate. Steer clear of that unwanted outcome by researching courses from companies and organizations with well-known name value. The most important factors that should be taken into account when choosing trainings are, firstly, experience in the field of cyber-combat and the work of a trainer in real-life scenarios. Secondly, take into account their pedagogical competencies that allow you to gain new skills in an effective and accessible way.

Everyone in the cybersecurity world heard about the skill gap. Unfortunately, we do not have time to educate millions of specialists in a short time. It is better to look around and pay more attention to already operating security teams and upgrade their skills.