As we all know, the cybersecurity threat landscape is changing on a daily basis. The need for finding highly trained individuals trained in this area is quite high, but given this huge demand, there is actually a severe shortage of workers in the cybersecurity industry. A recent survey conducted by ISC2 reveals the following about the shortage:
- The cybersecurity worker shortage is quite severe – in fact, it is estimated that the lack of trained professionals is at almost 4 million
- The Asia-Pacific region has the highest shortage of workers, with a need at well over 2 million cybersecurity specialists (a primary cause for this has been the recent passage of security related legislations and mandates in those respective countries)
- North America (which includes the United States and Canada) is also facing a cyber-worker shortage at close to 500,000 needed professionals
- The EMEA region needs at least 142,000 professionals
- Latin American countries have a current demand for 136,000 skilled workers
- Overall, 63% of the respondents to the survey claimed that their IT security teams are completely understaffed
- Some 59% of the respondents also believed that the business they work for is not all prepared to handle a cyber-attack, primarily because of the lack of trained professionals.
An interesting finding from the survey is that once individuals have secured a position in cybersecurity, they seem to be quite happy in their roles. For example, over 68% of the respondents felt either satisfied or very satisfied about their current cybersecurity job status. Also, the cybersecurity field is unique in that any qualified individual can find a job, no matter what their race or gender is.
For instance, overall women make up 24% of the cybersecurity workforce and 35% are either Millennials or Generation Y.
But, if demand is so high for cybersecurity workers, why is there still this severe shortage? The following reasons were cited in the survey:
- 34% of the respondents claimed that there are unclear and murky paths for getting an introductory job in cybersecurity
- 32% of the respondents felt that the needed skillsets are not communicated in a clear and succinct fashion
- 28% of the respondents felt that the cost of education for landing a first job in cybersecurity is quite high (especially in obtaining the needed certs)
Because of these reasons, there is now a huge movement in the industry to get people interested in the cybersecurity profession; the industry is largely targeting teenagers. One idea that has worked well is the summer training camps that are offered in different geographical areas. Our next post will focus on these trainings.