3.5 million. Yes, the count of unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the world will hit three and a half million next year. It is no news that the demand for cybersecurity professionals has been defeating the supply for quite some time now, but the numbers have never looked so ghastly. As the world is engulfed in a health pandemic currently, schools and educational institutions are taking a major hit by being closed for more than six months now. And while online classrooms are underway, the quality of education does tend to take a little dip. Meanwhile, the hackers are more active than ever which means that 2020 has caused the cybersecurity skill gap to widen even more.

Who does the gap affect and how?

The cybersecurity skill gap directly affects the companies that are at the target of hackers. While hacked private enterprises put customers and their sensitive data at risk, hacked public enterprises pose a harsher risk to individuals. Data is more than just money on today’s date. Data is almost synonymous with power. People who have just the right kind of information about individuals, governments, militaries, and entire countries can manipulate that information to wreak havoc or cause irreparable damage.

Recently, a hospital in Germany was hit by a ransomware attack and had to halt all operations and surgeries until the systems were recovered and accessible again. Due to this incident, a woman patient who was supposed to be operated on there had to be transferred to another hospital some miles away and died on the way. The problem with the cybersecurity skill gap is that the bad elements of society would not take a vacation just because there is a pandemic going on, especially when the mischief can be managed solely from the internet. To tackle this increasingly prevalent problem, the cyber police and defenders have to step up their game, in terms of skills as well as numbers, as soon as possible.

How can the gap be closed?

The promotion of cybersecurity education is immensely needed everywhere in the world. Younger generations have just started to take an interest in cybersecurity education, but that is just not enough. They will take a long time to become completely skilled and eligible to work. The current workforce and students who are on the verge of graduating, or have recently graduated make up the pool of skills that actually needs to be tapped on a priority basis. Apart from that, people who are looking for a career switch, be it a slight or a drastic shift, can be easily identified, encouraged, and educated about the prospect of pursuing cybersecurity.

Why you should think about being a cybersecurity specialist?

The only opportunity offered by this gaping skill divide is for the people who are planning to become the front line warriors of cybersecurity. More vacancies and lesser candidates mean more pay. Early bird benefits are plentiful in any industry and they are certainly handsome and promising in the cybersecurity job market. If you are thinking of pursuing a good certification like the Certified Ethical Hacker certification or the Certified Penetration Tester Professional certification, now is a golden time to grab the moment as companies are in dire need of cybersecurity specialists, especially ethical hackers, and are willing to pay them handsomely. 

Apart from ethical hacking, cybersecurity offers a multitude of other courses that will reward you with promising long term benefits. Network defense courses like the CND course, forensic investigation courses like the CHFI course, and incident handling courses like the ECIH course are just a few of the other exciting options that students and professionals can consider. In fact, if you are someone who is even slightly interested in cybersecurity and has a knack for learning, know that you can, too, with suitable coaching (no prior qualifications needed), become a cybersecurity specialist and help close the cybersecurity skill gap that is threatening the entire world.