cybersecurity workforce

How To Grow The Cybersecurity Workforce In 2021

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The shortage in the cybersecurity workforce persists despite the changes brought by COVID-19. It’s vital for organizations to stop this downfall. 

The demand for cybersecurity professionals has grown exponentially over the past decade. There are over half-million vacancies in the U.S. alone, and 4 million worldwide. 

All industries, including cybersecurity, have experienced a wild, rapid shift in the working setup. Most workers began to work remotely, and some companies made the shift literally overnight. 

Thus, this gave cybersecurity professionals an entirely new challenge as they are now responsible for securing cloud-based remote offices. That is really tough considering that the emergence of threats never stops.

The Main Reason Behind Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage 

An ISC study shows that the global cybersecurity workforce must grow 89% in order to fill the demand. Moreover, many companies feel that cybersecurity workforce shortages put their organizations at risk. 

It is imperative to start to implement strategies and attract talent now to close the skills gap. Hackers are only getting smarter and faster. Hence, the workforce must also keep with the pace. 

However, attracting talent with the right cybersecurity skills is no easy task. Most entry-level positions require a long list of necessary technical skills. The “entry-level” job description often looks like a mid-senior role in any other industry. 

Furthermore, it’s not just the technical skills that are hard to find. Soft skills such as flexibility and agility are equally important. However, they are harder to measure and recruit for. 

How To Attract The Right Talent 

The key here is to have better recruitment strategies. Listed below are the crucial tips companies may take to expand their cybersecurity workforce. 

Make job postings more attractive to diverse candidates

Organizations need to overhaul their job ads to attract diverse candidates. The hiring strategy that a hiring team started using ten years ago might no longer be effective in the present time. Thus, hiring teams must think critically and redesign their strategy. 

For instance, firms should abandon highly masculine color schemes. Moreover, they must reconsider their job requirements that “nobody in this world could meet”. List the top priorities, but emphasize the need for lifelong learners and critical thinkers. 

Draw out gender diversity by getting girls interested early

Middle school is the best time to draw girls into the cybersecurity world. Thus, organizations must make them interested in middle school. As result, they will be set and ready to take engaging high school courses. 

Give them an idea of what cybersecurity is, and it is more likely that they will keep exploring.  

Invest in employee certification programs

The continuous support of companies from day one is essential for a cybersecurity professional to succeed. Firms should create programs in helping new grads acquire certification while on the job and learn in real-time. 

It is true that certifications can’t make up for years of experience. However, it will help entry and mid-level employees gain a good understanding of all cybersecurity aspects. Moreover, showcasing a commitment to each individual’s professional growth often results in employee retention. 

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