The cybersecurity industry is facing a critical shortage of qualified professionals as the number of job openings continues to multiply amidst exponential cyberattacks growing at a rapid rate. The current number of certified professionals is far lower than the 700,000 positions that need to be filled immediately. This calls into question the hiring of IT professionals and teaching them cybersecurity on the job, or hiring those already trained in the industry.
One of the biggest challenges in filling many cybersecurity positions is the lack of people with qualifying credentials to enter the profession. Universities and certifications are the main provider of these credentials, yet by the time graduates complete their studies, their skills are oftentimes already obsolete. The lack of opportunities for non-technical professionals to gain cybersecurity training also plays a role in the challenge of filling positions. The pandemic has further complicated the movement of cybersecurity professionals and led to an increase in remote work, which puts companies at a higher risk for attacks.
To solve the hiring issue, companies need to focus on creating a diverse environment in the industry. This can be further supported through formal on-the-job training, accessible professional development opportunities, affordable certifications, mentoring programs, and much more. This way, companies can tap into new sources of talent and open up nontraditional entryways to a career in cybersecurity.
The pandemic has increased opportunities to hire remote workers to fulfill the security needs of most companies. This also brings new opportunities to offer creative options in training for those who, first and foremost, are dedicated to learning the job from the ground up.
In conclusion, the cybersecurity industry is facing a critical shortage of qualified professionals as cyberattacks become more complex and the demand for cybersecurity experts continues to increase. Companies need to focus on creating a diverse environment in the industry through formal on-the-job training, professional development opportunities, and affordable certifications. The pandemic has also opened up opportunities to hire remote workers and offer creative training options for those who are dedicated to learning the job from the ground up. Ultimately, these initiatives are key to meeting the needs of businesses in the U.S. and abroad.