This morning has seen a new report issued by Parliament on Cyber Security Skills and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure, available here.
Key finds from the report include:
- Cyber security is not just about technology, it is about people and the range of technical and specialist skills
- Although the UK has one of the most vibrant digital economies in the world, there is not currently the cyber security skills base to match
- Both public and private sectors affected by the skills shortage
- Issue is exacerbated by new “connected” technologies
- High demand and low supply of talent results in issues around salaries and affordability
- The talent pool is limited further by the failure to attract women to the profession
- Talent needed for both technical jobs and moderately specialist roles, aptitude is vital
Key measures highlighted to rectify the issue:
- Education – both inside and outside the classroom
- Industry being more creative in terms of recruitment and reskilling
- Professionalising the industry through a chartered status
- Cross-government coordination and cooperation
Comments on the report from Colin Lobley, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK:
“Addressing the cyber skills gap is an enormous challenge. There have been, and are, a series of great initiatives around, both public and private sector funded, which have built momentum to tackle the issue over the past decade. However, an awful lot more needs to be done. There is still a fundamental issue of public perception which is one of the biggest barriers to cyber security careers becoming more mainstream.
We need parents, teachers, careers advisers and people of all ages to understand that the roles in cyber security are extremely diverse – not all about deep technology. It is not a traditional career in the same way that doctor or builder or teacher is, but it is an industry that is growing rapidly and will offer good career prospects and long-term job security for hundreds of thousands of people over the next few years; it is part of the new collection of ‘traditional’ careers for the next generation. Cyber security is critically important to every individual, from keeping your money safe to protecting your medical records and nationally, to keep our country safe from cyber warfare.
We are working with HM Government, supporting their efforts to drive greater coordination across the market and getting broad support from industry, charities, academia and associations and helping to map out the pathways into the cyber security industry. It is not a traditional journey, but there are ways in at all ages and from all backgrounds and we are here to help with directions.”
Changing perceptions of cyber security careers
Cyber Security Challenge UK will be hosting Cyber Re:coded, aiming to be the largest cyber careers show Europe has seen to date, on 15-16th October this year at Tobacco Dock in London. The event will look to showcase the cyber security industry – highlighting the breadth of jobs and opportunities for people of all ages. With many potential employers there to meet, a programme of exciting talks and workshops, an educational cyber gaming zone, and a display of some of the most innovative developments in cyber security in the UK – this event will help to recode the way we think about cyber careers.