The Growing Talent Gap in Cybersecurity

ID NotifyIn the first half of 2016 alone, there were 500 breaches with over 12.8 million records exposed, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. With cyber attacks and data breaches becoming a statistical certainty in today’s digital world; the number of cybersecurity professionals has grown in tandem. However, there are not enough qualified professionals to meet the demand for cybersecurity jobs.

According to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Intel Security, a staggering 82% of respondents report a shortage of cybersecurity skills, and 15% of critical cyber positions are expected to remain unfilled by the year 2020.

A study by Raytheon and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) don’t see the talent gap improving anytime soon among young adults. Seventy-four percent of young women said schools did not offer the skills to pursue a degree in computer sciences; 57 percent of young men said the same.

The consequences of this gap are already being felt. NCSA explains that without the proper security team, organizations are exposed to a greater risk for loss in profitability, brand reputation and intellectual property.

Fortunately, it’s not too late for millennials. The same study found that 28 percent are more likely to choose a career that helps make the Internet safe than a year ago, and 38 percent are interested in learning more or taking classes related to cybersecurity.

While the cyber career problem will not be solved overnight, it will take a collective effort by businesses, government and education to push the needle in the right direction.