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Preparing Cybersecurity Leaders for Tomorrow Meaning Educating Them Today

The cybersecurity industry, as a vital industry, relies upon strong and knowledgeable talent to provide critical support to both the government and the private sector. With a smaller than desired talent pool to pull from, the industry is in dire need of educating people to move into these important job fields. Through enhanced recruitment, well-informed and educated candidates can be utilized to promote the growth of this industry.

According to a recent research study done by Kaspersky Lab, firms are finding it difficult to scout well-educated, proficient and viable candidates to fill their cybersecurity positions. The study went on to reveal that those same firms may end up expending an average of almost three times more funds, trying to recover from a breach, then could be spent on putting proper personnel in place at the offset.

In an exclusive interview the Homeland Security Today, CyberVista Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Simone Petrella, shared that cybersecurity is a fairly new field, and therefore in some ways is less mature.

How can a field of study be less mature? Petrella said this can happen when a candidate pool cannot meet the demands of the industry, which requires multidisciplinary knowledge with various specializations. Those who have a background which is attractive to the industry, could see a salary jump of 10 percent to 30 percent, with enhanced training and education.

Petrella surmises that there will be an estimated 1-1.5 million cybersecurity jobs which will need to be filled by 2019. Yet, many current job requisitions are impractical, and do not accurately represent realistic options. This workforce shortage is being recognized by the industry, and by firms such as CyberVista, a spinoff of Kaplan Learning, who generate test preparation programs.

To better prepare a workforce to be in line with what the industry needs, Petrella suggests that research can provide a holistic solution.  There are unique industry standards, and with proper education, possible candidates can strengthen their weaknesses. An example of this is something like CyberVista’s 12-week program, which includes a self-assessment and 70 hours of coursework, including the use of a light board, tailored to fit an individual’s unique cybersecurity learning needs.

The best students for cybersecurity based work, include those who have a strong understanding of technology, with an Associates or Bachelor’s degree, looking to grow into management roles.  These individuals, who have a strong desire to expand their knowledge base, would be ideal candidates to use such credentials and certifications to be attractive candidates, and advance themselves in the field.

Petrella noted that it’s important for leaders to take the evolution of this industry seriously, and to understand that the outlook in this field is filled with promise.  As people continue to grow their education and understanding of the cybersecurity field, it is hoped that this knowledge base will continue to grow into a viable field, which students will seek to refine their skills in.

And as it becomes more attractive, it is hoped that strong candidates will be in demand, with more drivers for future growth in the industry.  Perhaps this could lead to the availability of new career choices, and those with this skill base to be used in new ways.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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