New study reveals cybersecurity jobs are severely undermanned. Here’s how to offset the growing gap.Help Wanted: Cybersecurity Jobs Shortage to Reach 1.8M By 2022

Cybersecurity jobs are on their way to reaching a 1.8 million global workforce gap by 2022, according to a recent study.

The study—from Frost & Sullivan for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, with support from (ISC)², Booz Allen Hamilton, and Alta Associates—comprised of insights from over 19,000 cybersecurity professionals worldwide, making it the most extensive survey of the industry.

The Findings
Survey responders widely believe these cybersecurity jobs remain vacant due to a shortage of qualified personnel entering the workforce.

They also say the qualifications and job requirements for these positions being misunderstood by leadership are another contributor to the deficit. Of the respondents, 66 percent reported they cannot address current threats due to the shortage in their cybersecurity jobs department.

Additionally, (ISC)² predicted last year that a total deficit of 1.5 million IT security professionals would be reached by 2021.

Despite these predictions for cybersecurity jobs, there has been no action taken to offset the impending workforce gap.During a time when cybersecurity is only getting more dangerous, the need to close the ever increasing gap in the workforce is higher than ever.

Intervention Needed as Danger Arises
During a time when cybersecurity is only getting more dangerous, the need to close the ever increasing gap in the workforce is higher than ever.

Many employers are currently on the hunt for qualified candidates to fill the vacancy in their cybersecurity jobs. They know that now is the time to strengthen their network defenses and they need these positions filled to do so.  

“There is a definite concern that jobs remain unfilled, ultimately resulting in a lack of resources to face current industry threats,” said David Shearer, CEO at (ISC)².

“We’re going to have to figure out how we communicate with each other, and the industry will have to learn what to do to attract, enable and retain the cybersecurity talent needed to combat today’s risks.”

Filling the Gap
The report advises employers to use new platforms and unconventional methods to find and attract new recruits for these cybersecurity jobs.

Also, 94 percent of hiring managers prefer experienced candidates despite a whopping 87 percent of current cybersecurity workers not having started off in that profession.

It would be wise for employers to reevaluate their qualifications considering nearly a third of them plan on increasing the size of their cybersecurity jobs department this year.

Due to the ongoing shortage, employers need to begin finding and recruiting employees that may not have experience in cybersecurity but have the desire to learn to work in the field.

Getting Creative
There are many ways a business can go about tackling the ongoing shortage of qualified candidates for cybersecurity jobs.

IBM, for example, has recently crafted an initiative that will both help offset the workforce shortage and give more attention to the importance of hiring a military veteran workforce in the tech industry.

During a time when the digital economy is booming, there needs to be a way for employers to get creative and use technology to help fill these vacant cybersecurity jobs.

Considering the study found that 90 percent of the workforce is male, the majority of which have technical backgrounds, it goes without saying that there is a strong need for diversity in this industry now more than ever.

In other words: creativity, flexibility, willingness to support employees, and helping them learn as they work cybersecurity jobs are the most efficient solutions to today’s workforce shortage.