Between October 2018 and September 2019, over 500,000 Cybersecurity positions were opened throughout the United States.1 By 2022, the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach upwards of 1.8 million unfilled positions.2 Despite the projected 700,000 filled cybersecurity positions within the United States, 20% are filled with women.
While there is a growing need to develop cybersecurity talent to address the labor shortage, there is even a greater need to ensure the new population of cyber professionals brings diverse backgrounds, skills, abilities and talents capable of stifling the growth of cybercrime globally.
The Cyber professional of the future must not only be proficient in technical tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities, but also possess enhanced business acumen and critical soft skills in order to effectively execute the tasks required for the growing field. 3,4
Diversity of thought and perspective is needed to evolve the practice of cybersecurity globally; however, historically underrepresented groups have been unsuccessful in rapid penetration into the field. This may be attributed to: in permeating the field. The lack of penetration may be attributed to:
- Perception by employers that current educational infrastructure is failing to prepare students for Cybersecurity roles.
- Program graduates appear to lack fundamental knowledge, practical experience, and critical soft skills. 5
- Narrowed job search criteria by recruiters for candidates where historically underrepresented populations are limited.
- Limitations on technical skill development.
- Limited hands on experience in deep technical disciplines.
Increasing the diversity in Cybersecurity requires:
- Increasing the pipeline of general interest in the field
- Facilitating and investing in multi-dimensional growth of interested individuals
- Testing, validating, and confirming competency
- Enhancing education and advocacy with future employers/recruiters to ensure that developed
- Pipeline is considered for available opportunities
To increase the representation of underrepresented groups in Cybersecurity to 50% of the overall filled cybersecurity jobs by 2030.
To facilitate the growth and development of modern cybersecurity professionals competent and capable of evolving the practice of cybersecurity protection globally.
- Attract new talent into the field by removing stigmas associated with non-traditional disciplines
- Promotion of diverse thinking environments not just academic homogeneity
- Targets: K-12, Mid-Career, Recruiters, C-Level Forums
- Strategic Partnerships: HISPI, EC-Council, ISC2, ISACA, ASIS, CSIS, CIS, etc.
- Critical Consideration: Must be fact/statistically based, POV stories, etc. Must make it mainstream.
- Create buzz on the variety of cybersecurity jobs available and excitement about the profession – Career Days, Career Spotlights, Open Houses
- Discussions regarding how to acquire skills and transitioning to profession
- Partnering with existing educational providers to develop talent (integrate the wheel not recreate)
- Alignment with the NICE Framework for grounding and legitimacy of approach
- Promoting – Ad-hoc informational sessions and networking;
- Development of program with annual cohorts to walk the journey together with security community investing in their development
- Ideas: Modeled after Leadership Atlanta or like Associations and/or UK Cyber Retraining. These models can be paid for by companies to send their talent for extensive development as supported by Cyversity (Perception-> organization provides a service/value)
- Targets: K-12, College, Mid-Career
- Purposed mentorship along 3 key lines: Business, Technical and Soft Skills.
- Rotating mentorship or ongoing ad-hoc development opportunities in the way of one day forum covering these three areas. This may include workshops, think tanks, etc.
- Method: To be delivered in cohort model but may also be delivered as one off to the general public.
- Considerations: Will need to develop curriculum to align workshops and ad hoc events to competencies that would be required of cyber professionals.
- Increasing education of recruiters on the value of diverse candidates and the value of the participants affiliated with Cyversity.
- Open discussion with recruiters on what to look for in candidates, search criteria, etc.
- Promotion of membership publicly – Sourcing to top employers (allowing sponsored companies first/early looks at key candidates). – Inclusion of key designations, etc.”
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