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How to Approach the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Today’s high demand for IT and technology talent is outpacing the supply of qualified candidates. This workforce gap is documented across all areas of IT, but it is particularly prominent – and problematic – in cybersecurity.

The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

Cybersecurity job openings have grown by 94% since 2013, compared to 30% of IT positions overall, as noted in a Burning Glass Technologies report. Cybersecurity positions also take, on average, 20% longer to fill than other IT jobs.

The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022, a 20% increase from 2015, according to research from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed, 66% reported not having enough employees to address current threats. And while 87% of cybersecurity workers did not start in that field,

94% of hiring managers indicate that existing experience is an important consideration. The report encourages employers to broaden their recruitment channels and hiring strategies in order to address the talent shortage.

A Better Way to Hire for Cybersecurity Positions

With the prevalence of data breaches and attacks, cybersecurity is a major concern for small and large organizations alike. But it’s still challenging to find the right candidates to fill open positions. Here are three strategies that will help your organization overcome obstacles:

  • Focus on developing talent: Cybersecurity needs are constantly changing, and what is taught in university programs now may be outdated within a few years. Instead of adhering to rigid qualifications for what makes an ideal candidate, look for qualities that demonstrate an ability to learn emerging skills, grow to meet new challenges, and keep up with fast-changing technologies.
  • Expand your talent pipeline: Despite the IT workforce gap, there are still many smart, skilled, and motivated job seekers who are overlooked by traditional hiring practices. Enlarge your pool of candidates by partnering with a work-and-learn program, like York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program, which trains diverse talent for IT roles.
  • Prioritize ongoing professional development: Security threats will continue to evolve over time. Invest in the training, software, and other tools your cybersecurity team needs to stay current.

Learn more about how the Barriers to Entry program can benefit your company.