As anyone in the technology industry will tell you, there’s a huge demand for cyber security professionals, and a worrying shortage of talent. In fact, recent research revealed that Europe will face a shortfall of 350,000 cyber security professionals by 2022. So how do we solve this problem – and fast? Perhaps you have the answer …
A recent report from the IBM Institute for Business Value suggested that the above-mentioned ‘talent gap’ can be closed by filling cyber security roles through a ‘new collar’ approach. This means tapping in to professionals who might not have a traditional college degree but who do have in-demand technical skills and aptitudes. That could mean you!
According to Cyber Security Challenge UK, a career in cyber security can be incredibly fulfilling and is ideally suited to those who have a flair for problem solving, are good communicators and passionate about new technologies. It’s an exciting industry, with an increasing number of companies looking for help to defend themselves or others from cyber attacks. Some typical roles and career areas are:
- education, training and awareness
- engineering, architecture and design
- internet crime and data protection
- operations and security management
- policy makers and strategists
- risk analytics and management
- threat management and forensics.
Read about these in detail on the Cyber Security Challenge UK website at
Skill up while serving
The IBM report mentioned at the start of this feature highlights that the core attributes and skills that employers are looking for in cyber security professionals are:
- Problem Solver
- Guardian, and
These attributes and skills can of course be found in a multitude of other sectors beyond cyber security. One such sector is the military. One of the core attributes seen time and again with military veterans is the ‘Guardian’ attribute. This means they are highly ethical, reliable and motivated to protect their customers. In terms of specific cyber security roles, IBM has found that veterans are particularly suited to ‘operator’ and ‘communicator’ positions. Looking specifically at operators, this might include threat-monitoring analysts, penetration testers, security operations centre analyst and cyber operations manager roles. Anybody who has worked in the operations centre in a warship, in a military unit or in an RAF station will have the experience and transferable skills needed for dealing with cyber security incidents.
Recognising the value and skill-set veterans can bring to a role in cyber security, IBM has already hired hundreds of ex-military personnel. In the USA, it announced in March this year that it will hire 2,000 veterans over the next four years. Here in the UK, it has an ongoing partnership with SaluteMyJob and the Corsham Institute to provide veterans with free training and certification on IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook data analysis and QRadar cyber security products. While IBM provides the funding, software and trainer, the Corsham Institute provides the training facilities and SaluteMyJob finds candidates from the veterans community.
Designed to facilitate employment into cyber security roles, this IBM Corporate Citizenship initiative is part of a wider Veterans Employment Accelerator grant programme in the USA, Canada – and now the UK. The initiative addresses two issues: the challenges faced by skilled Armed Forces veterans transitioning back into civilian life and the growing cyber security skills gap.
As of September 2017, 100 veterans have completed the course. It’s a virtuous circle in the sense that, at the end of the training course, recruiters can get in touch with veterans and vice versa. The next course will take place at the end of October, with a focus on IBM’s data analysis software, i2 Analyst’s Notebook. Participants are awarded an IBM Open Badge certification on completion, which is recognised, respected and valued globally in the IT industry.
For IBM, it makes perfect business sense to up-skill and train veterans with a proven skill-set that is difficult to interview for. With the right training and investment, the company hopes to start closing the cyber security skills gap.
An excellent recent entry on the IT Governance blog, entitled ‘What are the best qualifications for a career in cyber security?’, provides plenty of advice and information. It’s an incredibly diverse area, but one thing’s for sure: any career in information security requires a sound knowledge of IT systems, so take a good look at our computing and IT feature on page 30 to find out more.
Inside Cyber magazine
Participants are awarded an IBM Open Badge certification on completion, which is recognised, respected and valued globally in the IT industry
Cyber Security Challenge UK
A series of competitions to test your cyber security skills, created by some of the largest security companies in the country, who are looking for the next generation of cyber defenders
Use your ELC
Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of relevant learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELC website at www.enhancedlearningcredits.com and is at level 3 or above. For full details of how to make the most of your ELC.
Ready to sign up?
The next IBM course takes place from 30 October to 3 November, with a focus on IBM’s data analysis software, i2 Analyst’s Notebook. If you are interested in applying for a place, or for more information, visit www.salutemyjob.com