Cyber Workforce Conundrum

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Each day we hear a new report about the challenges in finding IT professionals to fill an ever mounting number of cybersecurity positions. From commercial to the government contracting space, organizations realize their increased vulnerabilities, and their need to have teams to protect intellectual property and national security assets.

This challenge is not new. The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative launched in 2008 identified the need for training and education as it the people with the right knowledge and skills that will know how to implement new technologies that would determine success.

What complicates this hiring challenge further is buzzword bingo, in particular cybersecurity. From IT architecture to pen testing, from offense hacking to intrusion detection, what was once called information assurance or information security is now lumped into one cyber bucket.

There is a lot being done now with programs, certificates and resource investments, but we still have a clear problem: open jobs now. Where are those people? They aren’t in the middle schools, or college programs. Those that are in higher education programs don’t have the experience, which is vital. Certificates check the box, but they don’t protect a network.

Where will we find the people to fill these jobs? There are right here in our community: veterans.

Over the next few months, we will be looking at key cybersecurity programs and the talent challenges associated with filling those positions. At the same time we will also examine some exciting programs that are producing qualified IT professionals with the experience now to fill these critical positions. This is all in part to support our partnership with CyberMaryland.

Click here for information on the October 29 Cyber Job Fair

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:59 pm

One thought on “Cyber Workforce Conundrum”

  1. Kathleen, good comments and I look forward to future posts. I’ve been a search consultant for over 25 years but I am new to the markets of cyber security. While I know that solving the immediate need for talent is paramount our long-term solution has to rely on our STEM education initiatives. For immediate positions we might have to reset our expectations and go out and find the best and brightest and train them appropriately. The right candidates even without experience pick up things very fast.

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