Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

February 28, 2024

The ongoing effort to address the critical demand for cybersecurity professionals within our tech-saturated world continues. By 2025, it is predicted that over half of significant cyber incidents will be attributable to a lack of talent and human error from improperly trained or overworked individuals. Reports also suggest that talent gaps persist in the cybersecurity workforce and that there is a pressing need for more diversity and better training in the field.

Causes of the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

According to reports, 800,944 cyber-crimes were reported in the US in 2022 and “financial losses rose nearly 50%, from $6.9 to $10.3 billion,” indicating a significant and persistent rise in talent gap issues. Causes of this gap in the field of cybersecurity include:

  • Accessibility: While it may seem strange to not own a computer or possess some technology skills in today’s modern world, this is a reality. Security Magazine states that “not everyone has equal access to digital devices or skill sets” and “approximately 3 billion people worldwide remain offline due to factors like income, geography, education and disability.” Bridging the gap in access to education and equipment for cyber studies is key to developing a stronger workforce.
  • Training vs. Degree: Many employers are seeking individuals with certification training in lieu of a dedicated degree. In fact, “according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-quarter (25%) of IT workers in the United States do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.” This may seem like an advantage for people seeking a quick entrance into the field, but this can put the employee and the employer at a large disadvantage in the future. And while continued education, certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and on-the-job training are essential elements of a technology position, a strong foundation in cyber studies is needed first before building further specialized knowledge.
  • Stress: According to research, it is estimated that 25% of cybersecurity professionals will pursue different careers outside of the field due to workplace stress. Lack of organizational support, increasing cyber threats, and a weakened workforce of under qualified individuals can place extra pressure on those who are qualified, leading to job dissatisfaction and eventual dissent from the field.

Meeting the Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

There are many ways to address the prevalent issues of a weakening cyber workforce. The White House has responded by developing several initiatives to deal with these growing concerns. The Office of the National Cybersecurity Directorate (ONCD), which recently invited Capitol Technology University to participate in a roundtable discussion on strengthening the cybersecurity workforce and education, is one such response that aims to advance national security, economic prosperity, and technological innovation through cybersecurity policy leadership. Additionally, the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES), introduced by the Biden-Harris Administration in July 2023, is “a first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach aimed at addressing both immediate and long-term cyber workforce needs.” It emphasizes the collaborative approach that our nation’s stakeholders, educators, industry, and government leaders must take to achieve a stronger workforce. The strategy involves actions for scalable, lifelong training in foundational and specialized cyber skills, and improved diversity and inclusion in the field.

Fighting cybercrime is an uphill battle, especially with the emergence of new technology. From ChatGPT to artificial intelligence, cybercriminals can manipulate these increasingly user-friendly and prevalent programs against the public. It will require both an individual and collaborative national and international effort to help rectify these workforce issues. Management will need to place stronger emphasis on hiring with the future in mind to help solidify the growing workforce, and fitting oneself with a solid foundational cyber education is essential towards empowering the field as a whole.

Securing Your Degree in Cybersecurity

With the evolution of technology and a talent gap in the skilled workforce, the need for educated cyber professionals persists. Capitol Technology University is a leader in cyber and information security studies and has many initiatives and resources in place to help cyber professionals reach their career goals and become highly skilled, sought after, and marketable individuals. Our resources, recognitions, and programs include:

Cyber-Focused Programs: We offer several different cyber programs focused on industry standards and cutting-edge areas of interest to ensure our students are at the forefront of this evolving field and learn the most relevant and applicable curriculum.

Capitol Cyber Sleuths x GenCyber Program: This program helps K-12 teachers and educators progress in their cyber learning and pass this knowledge onto their students.

Cyber Labs: We offer access to several cyber-focused labs and makerspaces for our students to explore their skills, gain hands-on equipment experience, and collaborate with like-minded professionals.

Recognized Leader in Cyber Education: Amongst our many awards and recognitions, Capitol Tech is recognized by the NSA and DoD as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, with programs that actively engage in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.

Contact us for more information on how you can start your cyber career today!