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Jobs, training and courses: UK faces devastating cyber security skills crisis

By 2017, there will be a global shortage of no less than two million cyber security professionals, warn industry insiders.

The revelation came at a special Parliamentary Select Committee witness interview session this week, with experts briefing the Lords' Digital Skills Committee on the coming skills crisis.

The main cause of the problem is sheer lack of people going into the field, Peers were told - with a mere 0.6 per cent of 2012-13 graduates, for example, entering cyber security job roles.

"We don’t have sufficiently number of skilled people to do that protection piece; there aren’t enough people with those skills," one witness, Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge (opens in new tab), said.

"The money is there, the careers are there, and on face of it should be popular choice. But there’s a [skills] gap," she warned, pointing out that despite the rising importance of the Web for so many aspects of both business and personal life, the world doesn't seem to be catching up: “Everything has an Internet layer [but] we don’t have sufficiently number of skilled people to do that protection piece."

Change In Mindset

Followers of the rising importance of cyber security like UK firm IT Governance believe that the answer must be found in both better information at the school level about this as a possible career, but also a change in industry midset.

"Organisations that are looking to employ cyber security professionals need to start looking past trying to hire ‘hard to find’ individuals and consider recruiting experienced IT professionals who they can then train to provide the security resource that the organisation needs," says the company in a comment piece on the Committee meet (opens in new tab), adding that IT professionals might also look to changing their career path and steer towards cyber security.