There’s currently a huge demand for cyber security professionals, and a worrying shortage of talent. In fact, recent research revealed that Europe is set to 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 (see box), 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.
Cyber security skills are also, it is predicted, likely to be called for in the very near future across an increasingly wide array of industries and job roles, such as fighting extortion attacks and AI-based malware, in cryptocurrency regulation and battling ransom ware. For in-depth information on the expected future of cyber careers, click here.
CYBER SECURITY CHALLENGE UK
Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of national competitions, learning programmes and networking initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable more people to become cyber security professionals. Established to bolster the national pool of cyber skills, it offers a unique programme of activities to introduce sufficient numbers of appropriately skilled individuals to learning and career opportunities in the profession.
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.
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. To read it, click here.
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 also ensure you take a good look at our computing and IT feature to find out more.
With IBM and SaluteMyJob
Thanks to a partnership with IBM and the Corsham Institute, SaluteMyJob is able to offer Veterans and Reservists free training in two of IBM’s key cyber security software products. (Read our interview with SaluteMyJob managing director, Andrew Jackson, here.)
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 last year that it would 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.
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. 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
Inside Cyber magazine
Participants are awarded an IBM Open Badge certification on completion, which is recognised, respected and valued globally in the IT industry
Use your ELC
Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELC website and is at level 3 or above. For full details of how to make the most of your ELC, refer to the in-depth features on this website.
If cyber security is a sector you’ve set your sights on, Airbus CyberSecurity has rounded up a useful list of predictions. Based on trends identified at its Security Operations Centres in France, the UK and Germany, as well as recent geopolitical and social events, the full list of predictions provides insider information that will inform you – and could set you apart from the rest. Click here to find out more.
What could you earn?
The recently published Acumin Salary Survey 2019/2020 is the definitive salary index for cyber security professionals. The resource is free to download and provides a range of salary bandings for job titles in end user, security intelligence and consultancies, public-sector and vendor organisations, alongside career path information and details of requirements for entry-level roles.
Not only does the survey contain the latest salary information and data, taken from the UK’s largest cyber-specific candidate database, the Acumin Salary Survey also contains a summary of the key challenges and topics that have affected the industry over the past 12 months, providing Acumin’s unique take on how the market has changed – from recruitment trends to the latest certifications and cyber security threats.
So if you are an existing cyber security professional, or simply someone looking to get into the sector, the Acumin Salary Survey 2020 is a must-read.
You can download a copy of the survey here.
WE DID IT!
You can watch video interviews with Rebecca and Jasmine about their experiences on the course, their background and why they want to work in cyber. Click here for Rebecca’s story and here for Jasmine’s.
FIND OUT MORE
Interested in SaluteMyJob’s free cyber courses? Click here to find out more.