For four consecutive years, the cybersecurity unemployment rate sits at 0%. Unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the US continue to grow, and data breaches show no sign of slowing down either. We’re in the middle of a cybersecurity skills gap and workforce shortage crisis, and it’s serious. Each unfilled position poses a threat not just to the companies looking to fill roles, but to each of us who continue to have our data compromised in a cyber-attack.
Cybersecurity isn’t a new field by any means, but we’re just beginning to see it climb to the top of organizational priorities. The role of the CISO is now one of the fastest growing in the field, but we don’t yet have the talent to fill this role. That’s where education is missing the mark. A lot needs to change to bring the industry to speed, and one of the best ways to start is to suggest cybersecurity as a career path.
More Cybersecurity education programs
We know cybersecurity is important. We know there’s a world of opportunity for cyber professionals. Yet only 3% of graduates have “cybersecurity related” skills. What’s worse, a study by Protectwise revealed that 69% of millennials had never taken a class in school that focused on cybersecurity, with 65% stating that they didn’t have a choice because their schools never offered any.
In addition to the skills gap, cybersecurity is also experiencing a gender gap, with women making up only 20% of the workforce. While this stat is steadily trending upwards and more women are entering the field, it’s still not enough, and it’s coming at a time when cybersecurity needs talent from all backgrounds. Whatever the reason for the lack of representation of women in the field, it’s more important than ever that we suggest cybersecurity as a career path to women, and to all.
Preparing learners for the real world
We need to offer more in cybersecurity education, and not just as a one-off course or certification. As the world increasingly needs to ramp up defensive measures against cyber threats, universities need to do more to prepare students for the state of cybersecurity. To be prepared for the real world, cybersecurity learners need to graduate with strong skills and the right knowledge. That means that to get a leg up on cybercrime, higher education needs to make cyber learning an immersive and interactive experience.
When young curious minds are weighing up career options, cybersecurity should be presented as an option. Cyber roles are among the highest paying and most future-proof. Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec has said, “If you know cybersecurity, you have a guaranteed job. For life.”
In the classroom, and out
As more schools roll out cyber programs, it’s important to note that this will not be a silver bullet. With the education system having to fight a lack of resources and being notoriously slow paced, the industry needs to get creative.
Cybint’s platform makes it easier than ever for schools to implement cybersecurity programs that can turn learners into formidable opponents of cyber criminals. At Cybint, our accelerated approach to cyber learning turns users from zero-to-hero in record time. To learn more about how Cybint prepares learners for real-world environments with the most advanced platform in the industry, get in touch with one of our education experts today.