Last Updated: 5th January, 2021
Cyber Skills Gap: On the morning commute, there is a familiar phrase heard by so many, but actually listened to by so few. “Mind the Gap”, synonymous with the daily UK commuter grind, currently acquires a significantly more crucial significance for UK businesses on the hunt for the best and the most brilliant minds in the IT and cybersecurity sectors.
According to recent research by recruitment firm Robert Walters and data firm Vacancysoft, 58% of hiring managers put information security as their most required skill, but only a negligible number of tech workers have the cyber skills that businesses are looking for. The study also found only 10% of IT professionals have the cybersecurity skills the UK’s tech sector currently needs.
These findings highlight the increasing gap between the cyber skills employers need and the talent actually available to them. This lack of talent would be concerned enough during more benign economic times.
However, given the rising levels of unemployment, coupled with the fact that hacking and ransomware attacks are on the rise, there is an even more pressing need for employers to bridge this widening skills gap. With more superior education currently going through fundamental changes, there is an urgent need to assist people acquire creative cyber skills to reclaim the digital jobs of tomorrow.
The challenge, particularly when trying to recruit in highly specialized industries, is tracking down and screening the apt people. If there is any way to overcome this challenge in 2021, then universities need to team up with enterprise cybersecurity experts who are up to date with the most recent methodologies. After all, developing a curriculum for extremely technical sectors is complex.
If a curriculum can be developed based on specific input from specialists, then there is a more decent chance that the proper people can be sourced to learn this curriculum. Combating cybercrime is, of course, a rapidly evolving skill. Therefore, the content of any university curriculum, teaching the subject needs to be constantly receiving input from business experts who are fighting the cybercrime war on a daily basis.
Universities need to ensure there is a direct link between the curriculum they deploy, and the number of people who actually find employment quickly. Typically, this would be within the first six months. Truth be told, an elevated opt-in rate is undoubtedly the sole way to measure the success of any program. In addition to having deep sector experience and expertise developed curriculums, universities also need to ensure their programs are accessible during this current era of hybrid online live learning.
From Wi-Fi issues to missed classes for personal reasons, there could be any number of reasons as to why people are incapable join live seminars or lectures. With this in mind, it is imperative that people can go over the materials again outside the academic teaching environment.
Creating generational impact by accelerating the transition into the digital age, while altering the face of the global workforce, has never been more important. If the UK education system harbors any hope of transforming lives by educating global learners for the IT and cybersecurity careers of the future, then it demands a fundamentally distinct solution to assist people acquire creative skills to find employment.
Narrowing the current cyber skills gap is achievable, but only if a comprehensive curriculum is deployed. One that not barely allows people to enter the digital skills market immediately with a secure job, but also enables them to continue learning and understand how to grow in this job to achieve generational stability.