By 2019 There Will be 2 Million Cyber Security Positions That Go Unfilled – What You Can Do Now To Decrease This Number
I read something scary in a news article today. “By 2019 there will be approximately 1-2 million cyber-security related positions that will go unfilled.” The article also stated that companies will rely on automated technologies to help supplement for the lack of cyber security talent. The article quotes several recent research studies that have been performed within the last year: summarizing the declining skillset, what employers are looking for in their security engineers (a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 2 years of hands on experience) and how they plan on hiring these individuals and training them in the future.
Earl Perkins, Research Vice President in the Internet of Things (IoT) said it best, “With a zero percent unemployment rate, security skill sets are scarce. The industry needs and will continue to need new kinds of skills as cybersecurity evolves in areas such as data classes and data governance. It’s a problem that security experts have avoided, but the reality is that in the next three to five years, enterprises will generate more data than they ever have before.”
Here at ABS Technology it’s a part of our job in the staffing department to discuss education, experience, certifications, so on and so forth when interviewing candidates. We speak to a lot of individuals that are fresh out of college with no experience and we speak to a lot of candidates’ that have 5 years of experience and no college degree.
In discussions with individuals throughout Hampton Roads area, I’ve heard that there aren’t too many entry level cyber-security opportunities or internships available. At ABS, we invest in our community by investing in the talent that we hire. We partner with local schools and offer internships starting at the high school level. We allow our interns to shadow and learn from engineers that are SME’s in their field. Most of our interns stay with us after graduation and are offered full time positions; several interns have gone on to be architects for companies like Cisco Meraki and IT managers/decision makers in the community. We screen candidates for potential, and look for ways to help our employees foster their skills with training opportunities.
One takeaway from this news article was the frustrating realization that not all employers are flexible like ABS. It seems rare to find a company that offers entry level positions, hands on training opportunities, and educational reimbursement to help fresh out school junior candidates grow into senior engineers later. If employers don’t offer internships, sponsor hackathons or get their community excited about cyber-security we won’t have cyber engineers to help train their predecessors. In a world where IT is always changing and growing at uncapped levels, we as the employers have a duty to step up and help fill the training gap.
I’m proud to work for an organization like ABS that not only acknowledges this but acts daily (and has been for years) to foster, educate, and excite young talent to ensure that today’s students and interns are tomorrow’s IT leaders. I challenge other IT businesses and institutions to step up and do their part as well. At the end of the day, we can always be doing more and ultimately we are all responsible for stretching our limits when it comes to the future of IT.
ABS Staffing Services Manager, Caitlin Johnson, is responsible for recruiting top talent for ABS and ABS clients. She leverages her large network to place candidates in the right roles based upon their culture requirements,and technical aptitude.