There’s currently a huge demand for cyber security professionals, and a worrying shortage of talent. Research has revealed that Europe is facing a significant shortfall of cyber security professionals. So how do we solve this problem – and fast? Perhaps you have the answer …
What’s it like to work in cyber security?
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:
Cyber security skills are also in demand 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.
The research mentioned in the introduction also highlights the core attributes and skills employers are looking for in cyber security professionals, giving them the following labels:
These attributes and skills can of course be found in a multitude of other sectors beyond cyber security, and one such 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.
How do I qualify to work in cyber security?
An excellent entry on the IT Governance blog, entitled ‘What are the best qualifications for cyber security in 2023?’, 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.
Working with, among other organisations, IBM, and with funding from Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, SaluteMyJob is continuing its established focus on offering cyber training to transitioning and former Service people, spouses and reservists, through its Cyber Career Jumpstart initiative. Read more about this under the subhead ‘Finding employment’, below. Get in touch with SaluteMyJob direct to find out the latest information.
SaluteMyJob also offers an extremely useful guide to the best qualifications and courses to help you close your ‘cyber security skills gap’ and get you into a cyber career. Click here to find out more.
You would also do well to visit IBM’s SkillsBuild platform, where you can explore new technologies, find out how to build foundational skills for the workplace and maybe even get stuck in to some free training. For IBM, it makes perfect business sense to upskill and train veterans with a proven skill-set that is difficult to interview for. With the right training and investment, the company hopes to shrink the cyber skills gap.
The ultimate guide to getting into cyber security for ex-military jobseekers
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 elsewhere on this website.
SECURE YOUR CYBER SKILL-SET
The recent growth in WFH and our increasing reliance on technology has seen a significant spike in cyber-crime across Europe, with adaptable cyber-fraudsters seeking to utilise occurrences such as the Covid pandemic for commercial gain. Their method of exploiting home working solutions through a variety of publicly known vulnerabilities in VPNs and other remote working tools and software has fuelled a growing need for cyber-security professionals.
As well as the information provided above, regarding the kind of training that will help set you up for a role in cyber security, not-for-profit initiative TechVets, in partnership with RFEA, is dedicated to building a bridge for veterans into cyber security and the technology sector. It recently received a huge funding boost that will enable it to extend its offer of free training to upskill more veterans than ever before and support them into sustainable careers in these sectors. Click here to visit the TechVets website and find out more about this very valuable initiative.
When the IBM Institute for Business Value issued the research mentioned at the outset of this feature, which highlighted the impending skills shortage, it suggested that the ‘talent gap’ could be closed by filling cyber security roles through a ‘new collar’ approach – that is, tapping in to professionals who might not have a traditional college degree but do have in-demand technical skills and aptitudes. Now it’s putting its money where its mouth is with its new Cyber Career Jumpstart initiative. As part of this, SaluteMyJob, a social enterprise supporting former Service people into civilian employment, is doubling down on its mission to highlight targeted pathways for veterans, military spouses and reservists to train in cyber security roles where employers face business-critical skills shortages. Visit the SaluteMyJob website to find out how it could help you transition to a successful cyber career, and click here to read about SaluteMyJob’s latest initiative, in partnership with Abertay University, to deliver a pioneering ethical hacking course that aims to support members of the Armed Forces community on their journey towards an exciting career in this field.
CYBER SECURITY APPRENTICESHIPS
The website of the UK Cyber Security Council lists the following cyber security apprenticeships as currently available: Cyber Security Technician (level 3); Cyber Security Technologist (level 4); Cyber Security Technical Professional (level 6). Visit this page regularly to stay up to date with the latest information. You can find further details of these and other related apprenticeships on the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education website. UCAS is also a useful source of searchable information on apprenticeships. Alternatively, use your favourite search engine to discover more options. Or browse the government’s apprenticeship website (check out the ‘Digital’ section) or Find Apprenticeships, both of which allow you to search for apprenticeship opportunities by area of interest and location.
What could you earn?
The Acumin Salary Survey 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 whether you are an existing cyber security professional or simply someone looking to get into the sector, the Acumin Salary Survey is a must-read. Click here to read or download a copy of the most recent edition.
FIND OUT MORE
Interested in Cyber Career Jumpstart 2023? Click here to read all about it.
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