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2022 cyber security skills shortage

Whether in our homes or offices, we are increasingly surrounded by smart devices and appliances that are permanently connected to the internet. According to Business Insider, we can also expect 64 billion IoT devices with an online connection by 2025. Unfortunately, this means an increasing attack surface and an exponential increase in security threats on the horizon from a security perspective.

It’s also concerning that half of all businesses in the UK typically have just one employee responsible for cyber security. Furthermore, outside of the direct cyber security industry, 85% of the staff performing cyber duties in-house are transitioning from a non-cyber role. As these trends increase, private firms are continuing to focus on transitioning staff who may not have cyber-specific technical skills to fill skills gaps.


2022 cyber security skills shortage


How big is the cybersecurity workforce gap?

Cybersecurity is entering the spotlight again, and the industry is struggling to meet the demand to fill new roles. The reality is while many traditional job positions are becoming automated, the cyber security industry currently offers the opportunity of a 0% unemployment rate. Unsurprisingly the British Government has warned that the workforce gap in cybersecurity is continuously getting bigger.

In the UK, 4,400 core cyber security postings were posted each month in 2021, which increased 58% from 2020. Although there are around 7,500 new entrants into cybersecurity each year, there are also 4,600 people estimated to be leaving this field during the same period. When you combine these figures with the growth in demand for cyber skills, the government estimates an annual shortfall in cyber security personnel of c.14,100 (vs. the previous year’s estimate of c.10,000).

Five years have passed since ex LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told attendees at Recode Code Enterprise conference that skills, not degrees, matter most in the job market. Employers are finally catching up with this school of thought after finding that qualifications from traditional education are not doing a good enough job at signalling the kinds of attributes they were looking for from job applicants. 

There have also been instances of higher education courses and modules in cyber security being considered outdated. For example, a penetration testing firm carried out a day-long workshop at a university and discovered that the software used on the course was five years out of date. By contrast, employers desperately need candidates with up-to-date cybersecurity and an aptitude for self-learning, problem-solving, and communication skills.


Which cybersecurity skills are in the highest demand?

The world of cyber security provides many different career pathways and specialisms that offer multiple options for new entrants to explore. Ultimately, you will be responsible for protecting data, employees, and end-users from bad actors. But the five key areas you can choose to specialise in are critical infrastructure, application, network, cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Many guides will teach you how to become a cyber security professional. The good news is that in most cases, an employee’s transferable skills, curious mind, and willingness to learn are the most critical factors when reskilling to begin or switch to a career in cybersecurity. In addition, problem-solving skills, flexibility, a general understanding of vulnerabilities, and attack methods will also make you invaluable to employers.

By combining all of the above with entry-level certifications that can be achieved relatively quickly, you can quickly catapult yourself into an entry-level cyber security role.


What hard skills are needed for cyber security?

Depending on the path you would like to take, the most obvious qualifications for a career in cyber security are Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH), and CompTIA Security+

In addition, the Pen Tester Starter Collection is another excellent example that can help anyone specialise from the outset in detecting, preventing, and eliminating vulnerabilities.


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However, before even thinking about specialising in a particular field, most people will begin with a Cyber Security Collection of certifications that can provide new starters with the IT fundamentals to equip them with the right skills to start their career as a cyber security professional. In addition, understanding the terminology and frameworks that global IT teams use will help you build your skillset from the ground up.

With the foundations in place, you can then unlock the ability to push your cyber security skills further by progressing on to the Cyber Security Professional collection of certifications. This path of continuous improvement will help secure industry-leading certifications from CompTIA, Cisco, EC Council, Microsoft, ISACA, and ISC2. 


2022 cyber security skills shortage


Is cyber security demand bigger in the UK?

Cybercrime has become one of the fastest-growing crimes, and it’s predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Elsewhere, 87% of consumers have advised that they would take their business elsewhere if they couldn’t trust a brand to securely and responsibly manage their data. Consequently, the reputational damage caused by a data breach can impact a business for many years. 

Ultimately, we are dealing with global issues that are much bigger than the UK, and robust cyber security skills are in short supply. However, this has created unprecedented opportunities where a 0% unemployment rate and a global shortage of cyber security professionals mean that once certified, the only limitation to your career aspirations is your imagination.

By arming yourself with the most in-demand cybersecurity qualifications, you will have the ability to enjoy a lucrative salary, a better standard of living, and the ability to work anywhere in the world. If you are interested in switching to a career in tech and the world of cyber security, the analyst collection will put you on the right path to analyse vulnerabilities in security systems. But, if you are looking to push your cyber security skills further and want to gain industry leading certifications check out the professional collection.


However, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach and these are not decisions you need to make on your own or rush into. Please get in touch with our expert cybersecurity career consultants who will help plot a unique path to unlock the cybersecurity career of your dreams.