Industry trendsFebruary 22, 2022

Cybersecurity and the prospects of lifetime employability

Cybersecurity Ventures is the world’s leading researcher for the global cyber economy, and a trusted source for cybersecurity facts, figures, and statistics. One of their most interesting predictions was that there would be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021, up from one million positions in 2014. And they were right. Between 2013 and 2021, the unfilled job grew by 350 percent. Now they are making a similar prediction, expecting there will be another 3.5 million jobs waiting to be filled in 2025.

The weight of Cybersecurity Ventures’ predictions has triggered both statements and actions. Serious voices in the field of IT are speaking of lifetime employability for IT and especially cybersecurity professionals. And as long as the cybersecurity skills gap continues to exist, every IT professional will have to carry the burden of cybersecurity. The problem is this: as technology continues to penetrate every industry, the demand for tech staff in general is growing – not to mention the security aspect! So today’s 75 million tech workers around the world (and many more in the coming years), will have a heavier load, while educational institutions catch up and start releasing graduates into the job market.

Big Tech, from Microsoft to Google and IBM, as well as Apple and Amazon, are actively stimulating interest in the field and helping to recruit, train and place cybersecurity staff. After all, a safer cyberspace will only benefit their safe growth.

Another interesting statistic is that in 2021, women only represented 25% of the global security workforce. If you try to see that glass as half full, that means that women are as yet an untapped resource, when it comes to cybersecurity staff. Initiatives such as that taken by Deloitte in their global awareness and recruitment campaign to attract women to the field is a major step in the right direction, serving both the industry and women’s career aspirations. Indeed, Cybersecurity Ventures expect women to represent 30% of the global cybersecurity workforce by 2025, and 35% by 2031.

While a good batch of both men and women are already in the pipeline of 4-year university programmes in cybersecurity, that is not the only path to this hungry job market. In fact, one of the main myths that must be debunked is this rather glorified image of anyone working in the field of cybersecurity. No, this is not a field that is reserved for the kind of IT genius characters Hollywood likes to create. In fact, for the most part, it’s about meticulous and methodical work, setting up sound procedures, and of course raising awareness among everyday computer users. The jobs that are and will be available over the coming five years will be filled not by the one-in-a-million IT prodigy, but by keen and hardworking students who have an interest in the field and pursue a reliable course of study.

Having said that, what the job market needs is candidates who can demonstrate a balance of both theoretical, academic knowledge and practical training, so they can actually get to work and start performing without an extended period of in-house training. One thing is for sure: With cyber attacks on the rise, the field of cybersecurity is as hot as it has ever been.

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