The cyber-security job supply and demand issue (commonly referred to as “the gap”) is the discrepancy between jobs available in a field, and the potential employees who can fill them. This “gap” can come in a variety of forms, depending on the field.

Noticeably, the two key identifiable gaps in the current cybersecurity workforce are:

– An increased demand means a higher number of positions are not being filled because prospective candidates are lacking in numbers and/or not meeting an organization’s required level of experience/education/etc.

– The way markets and organizations are attempting to fill these open positions are somewhat limited, particularly regarding diversity and accessibility.

The reason for these gaps can vary immensely, ranging from job inaccessibility and client education/skill limitation, to discrimination and a lack of effective networking5. Organizations claim that finding staff with the proper skillsets continues to be difficult. Education and skill requirements seem to be in high demand for potential employers, as only 27% of hiring managers say that recent graduates in cybersecurity are well-prepared, while others noted that there are gaps in IT knowledge and skills, insufficient business insight, technical experience and insufficient training4. Yet the demand still remains, which leads us to ask how we can help to bridge these gaps more effectively.

Although great strides have been (and continue to be) made by businesses and education to close these gaps in the market, there is significant room for improvement. Adenike Cosgrove, a Cybersecurity Strategist at Proofpoint, argues that we are only going to be able to fill the gap by widening the professional search6. In order to bridge the gap, we must be willing to challenge industry standards. Organizations and businesses must be open to diversifying and expanding their job pool and cybersecurity teams if the demand is to be met and we are to reflect the wider workforce.

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