It’s a well-known fact that the cyber security industry suffers a severe skills shortage. According to CyberEdge’s recent research, 4 out of 5 organisations can’t find qualified staff to fill cyber security positions.
With the myriad of skills required by seemingly all positions within the cyber security sphere it is clear there is a missing link: entry level roles. How is someone with limited experience expected to step into the industry and help defeat the skills gap, if every opportunity presented requires experience they don’t have?
Today we demand personnel not only with technical expertise but also years of experience to back this up. Unfortunately businesses are too often focused on their short term problem, offering higher salaries to the few qualified candidates in order to steal them away from one another, especially within the cyber vendor market.
Would a better investment be to consider apprenticeship programs or hire internally? Apprenticeships can provide the opportunity for security leaders to tailor and train the security talent from within and teach them the necessary skills that the business needs. Hiring should then be focused on those who can bring a) strategic value to your organisation and b) specific skill sets to fill gaps that cannot be immediately trained for.
In the long term, poaching talent from competitors and other businesses is an inefficient solution to a significant industry issue. Whilst this is still necessary to combat the current demand for skills, investing into that candidate pool on the next generation can only bring dividends. Those who go through apprenticeship schemes or graduate internships are likely to become evangelists to the organisation who supported them in their initial stages of their career.
Creating opportunities for fresh talent is not only beneficial in the short term but is also cost efficient. The opportunity for training will be a major candidate attraction, reducing the demand for a competitive salary.
We should embrace our next generation of talent and provide opportunities to allow these fresh employees to gain the skills and experience needed to progress within an industry desperately seeking new talent.
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