- By 2022, the cybersecurity sector is expected to face a 1.8 million deficit of trained professionals, according to a Booz Allen Hamilton report of nearly 20,000 international cybersecurity professionals. The most prominent reason for the shortage is too few candidates have the proper skills, but by pursuing more women and younger candidates, companies are expected to fill the gap, according to the report.
- Already, 68% of respondents said their security departments lack enough workers. However, one-third of companies are planning to expand security departments by at least 15%.
- A staggering 87% of cybersecurity professionals did not begin their careers in the field, and nearly one-third of respondents did not come from any IT or engineering background.
Having a diverse workforce has always been the Achilles' heel of Silicon Valley but in an age where threats and innovation opportunities emerge daily, companies are forced to expand their horizons.
Currently, about 94% of hiring managers look for candidates with experience. But with such a small pool, hiring managers have taken a creative approach and are looking at candidates without a background in cybersecurity.
Expanding the list of potential hires begins with education and inclusionary behaviors. Right now, only about 18% of computer science majors are women and only 11% of the security workforce is comprised of women.
A retiring workforce is also of concern for IT departments because although millennials currently account for more than 42% of the technical workforce, only about one-fourth of cybersecurity professionals are under the age of 34. Traditional hiring practices may list an entry level security position with specific programming skills that are not needed for a role, thus turning away potential applicants.
Skewed hiring tendencies close the door to a more diversified and available workforce. Oftentimes, employers must look beyond what is on resumes to accommodate a field that generally outpaces the training behind it.