Blog Post

Bridge Cybersecurity Talent Gaps

Bridge Cybersecurity Talent Gaps

The Cyber Threat Landscape: A Battlefield of Opportunity (and Vulnerability)

In today’s digital age, data is the lifeblood of every organization. From financial records and intellectual property to customer information and operational systems, securing this data is paramount. However, a growing cybersecurity talent gap threatens to leave organizations woefully exposed to increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 32% employment growth for information security analysts from 2022 to 2032, far outpacing the average for all occupations. This translates to an estimated 16,800 new job openings each year.
  • A Stark Reminder: Serious data breaches unfortunately are commonplace. So far this year, well-known brands including Roku, Vans, Trello, Fujitsu, Dropbox, Dell, and Ticketmaster (among others) have reported sensitive data compromises according to technology media outlet The website tracks breaches, along with the impact of each highlighting the devastating impact cyberattacks can have on critical infrastructure, sensitive data, and intellectual property.

The Challenge: Filling the Gap

The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals far outstrips the current talent pool. Traditional four-year degrees often struggle to keep pace with the rapid evolution of cyber threats. This creates a significant challenge for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) who desperately need to build robust cybersecurity teams.

The Imperative: A Strategic Approach

A reactive approach to cybersecurity talent acquisition is no longer viable. Business leaders must adopt a strategic talent acquisition and development (TAD) strategy specifically targeted at cybersecurity roles. This strategy should encompass both attracting new talent and upskilling existing employees. 

Why Apprenticeships and Reskilling Programs Are the Answer

Traditional recruitment methods often prove insufficient for finding individuals with such a specialized skillset. Here’s how apprenticeships and reskilling programs can bridge the cybersecurity talent gap:

  • Cultivating a Talent Pipeline: Apprenticeships create a pipeline of skilled cybersecurity professionals by nurturing raw talent and providing them with the necessary hands-on experience. This approach allows you to invest in individuals who demonstrate potential and align with your company culture.
  • Building a Diverse Workforce: Apprenticeships offer valuable opportunities to attract individuals from diverse backgrounds. This enriches your cybersecurity team with a broader range of perspectives, leading to more creative and effective solutions.
  • Focus on Practical Skills: Apprenticeships prioritize hands-on learning, preparing apprentices to tackle real-world cybersecurity challenges from day one. One highly sought-after skill in this area is incident response and forensics, which equips professionals to analyze data breaches and identify the culprits.
  • Faster Time to Proficiency: Compared to traditional university programs, apprenticeships can accelerate the process of getting new hires up to speed on critical cybersecurity skills, allowing them to contribute meaningfully sooner.
  • Upskilling Existing Employees: Reskilling programs can transform valuable employees with relevant IT skills into adept cybersecurity professionals. This approach leverages your existing talent pool and fosters a sense of loyalty within your organization.

Beyond Filling the Gap: Advantages for Your Organization

Implementing an apprenticeship or reskilling program offers several key benefits that go beyond simply filling the talent gap:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to the high costs associated with recruiting experienced cybersecurity professionals, apprenticeships offer a more cost-effective solution.
  • Increased Employee Retention: Investing in employee development fosters loyalty and helps retain valuable talent within your organization.
  • Enhanced Team Culture: Apprenticeship programs cultivate a culture of learning and collaboration. Apprentices, with their inquisitive nature, can challenge existing paradigms and ultimately lead to a more engaged and effective team.
  • Direct Benefit for CISOs: CISOs can gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment by mentoring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and building a strong, homegrown cybersecurity team.

Building a Strong Cybersecurity Workforce: Key Considerations

Program Development: Partner with reputable apprenticeship programs with clearly defined learning objectives that align with the specific needs of your organization. Certifications like those offered by CompTIA, Google, or even the US Dept of Labor through approved partners can be valuable benchmarks in selecting qualified candidates.

  • Mentorship: Identify experienced cybersecurity professionals within your organization who can provide valuable mentorship and guidance to apprentices and program participants.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Actively work to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds to create a well-rounded cybersecurity team. Look for apprenticeship programs that prioritize diversity and inclusion in their recruitment efforts.
  • Metrics and Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your TAD strategy by tracking key metrics such as apprentice completion rates, time-to-hire for cybersecurity roles, and employee retention rates.

Success Stories and Additional Resources

Several organizations have successfully implemented cybersecurity apprenticeship programs. Google, for instance, has a  program that cultivates the next generation of cybersecurity talent. There are also government initiatives and grants available to support cybersecurity workforce development for organizations exploring their own apprenticeship programs. Franklin Apprenticeships is also offering a special, time-sensitive cybersecurity program for businesses seeking to skill or upskill new or existing talent. Conducting further research can help you identify programs and resources that align with your organization’s specific needs. Here are a few resources to get you started, and of course, our experts at Franklin are always happy to help:

A Call to Action: Secure Your Future Today

Cybersecurity is not just a technical challenge; it’s a business imperative. By neglecting to invest in a strategic talent acquisition and development strategy, you leave your organization vulnerable. Implementing an apprenticeship or reskilling program is a proactive approach to building a strong cybersecurity team, safeguarding your data, and ensuring your organization’s long-term success. Don’t wait until a cyberattack exposes your vulnerabilities. Start building your cybersecurity talent pipeline today. Explore the possibilities of apprenticeships and reskilling programs as a strategic solution to your talent needs.

Let’s Start the Conversation

We understand that building a strong cybersecurity workforce requires careful planning and collaboration. We’re here to help you navigate the process and explore solutions that fit your organization’s specific needs. Contact us today to discuss your cybersecurity talent acquisition and development challenges.

Blog Post

The $5.5 Trillion IT Skills Crisis

The $5.5 Trillion IT Skills Crisis

Strategies for Building Future-Ready Tech Talent

The global IT skills shortage is reaching a breaking point, with IDC predicting that over 90% of organizations worldwide will feel the impact by 2026. This crisis is expected to result in a staggering $5.5 trillion in losses due to product delays, impaired competitiveness, and lost business opportunities.

While artificial intelligence (AI) skills are currently in high demand, cybersecurity, IT Operations, cloud computing, data management, software development, and various other digital skills are also among the top needs identified by IT leaders.

Overcoming the IT Skills Crisis: A Holistic Approach

Addressing this significant skills gap requires a holistic approach that fosters a culture of continuous learning within organizations. As market dynamics evolve, so do the talent development training needs of our clients. Over the last 18 months, we’ve heard more of a need for skills-based training for new talent and existing employees.

Experiential Learning: Hands-On Skill Development

We apply our core methodology of hands-on, experiential learning perfected through apprenticeships to skill-based training programs too. Our interactive approach engages learners, provides practical, real-world experience while allowing them to apply their knowledge on the job. This is of significant benefit to employers, and savvy ones recognize the long-term cost savings and competitive advantage developing talent provides.

According to IDC’s survey, 70% of organizations are utilizing experiential learning methods in their training programs. Why? Because they recognize their effectiveness in developing practical skills and fostering a deeper understanding of complex concepts. We take that one step farther with hands-on, on-the-job learning that aligns skills to your unique work environment.

Aligning Learning with Business Goals and Career Growth

While cutting-edge training materials and methods are essential, fostering a culture of continuous learning requires a comprehensive approach that aligns learning objectives with business goals and individual career aspirations. Franklin Apprenticeships can help. Our training programs are designed to promote a bias for learning, integrate seamlessly into daily workflows and provide employees ample opportunities to upskill and reskill as business needs evolve.

Addressing Resistance to Training

One of the challenges organizations face in expanding employee skills is resistance to training. Employees often cite concerns such as courses being too long, limited learning options, and a lack of alignment between skills and career goals. One of the biggest challenges we hear regularly is that employees don’t always avail themselves of skills training the company provides. Or they start but don’t complete training. We overcome this inertia with live Success Coaches whose sole focus is holding learners accountable to complete their training program while working with employer managers to integrate these employees into operations while they’re learning.

Investing in Your Future Success

The IT skills crisis is a complex challenge that requires innovative solutions and a commitment to continuous learning and continuous talent development. By partnering with Franklin, you gain access to our cutting-edge training programs flexed to your needs, expert instructors, success coaches, and a proven track record of helping organizations build the tech talent they need to thrive in the digital age.

Don’t let the skills gap hold your organization back. Contact us today to learn how we can help you conquer the IT skills crisis and future-proof your tech talent pipeline.

Blog Post

Navigating the Skills Revolution

Navigating the Skills Revolution

Unlock Human Potential for a Future-Ready Workforce

The rise of generative AI has brought about a seismic shift in the job market, prompting organizations to reevaluate their hiring strategies. The most in-demand skills for the future are the most in-demand skills for now. The call for a “skills revolution” has become a rallying cry, but is this approach truly disruptive, or simply a rebranding of age-old practices? 

At Franklin Apprenticeships, we believe that successfully navigating this skills revolution requires a people-focused, outcome-oriented mindset. Our innovative talent development programs are designed to help companies bridge talent gaps, unlock human potential, and drive their missions forward. 

Rethinking Traditional Hiring Practices 

An article from Fast Company, Is Skills-Based Hiring Just a Fad, highlights the growing emphasis on skills-based hiring, a trend fueled by the commoditization of knowledge and expertise through AI. As generative AI becomes more ubiquitous, employers are realizing that mere knowledge or expertise is no longer a differentiating factor in the hiring process. 

To truly embrace the skills revolution, organizations must be willing to challenge traditional hiring practices that have long relied on academic credentials and university degrees. These credentials, while valuable, often fail to accurately assess an individual’s employability skills, such as learning ability, drive, and interpersonal competencies. 

Focusing on Future-Proof Competencies 

As the shelf life of hard skills continues to shrink, the key to building a future-ready workforce lies in prioritizing soft skills and human-centric competencies. These skills, which include traits like self-awareness, empathy, adaptability, and resilience, are less likely to be replicated by AI and are essential for navigating the ever-changing job market. 

True potential transcends past experiences and achievements. Our programs are designed to assess and develop these future-proof competencies, enabling individuals to thrive in roles they may have never encountered before. 

Unlocking Human Potential Through Innovative Programs 

To truly drive the skills revolution forward, companies must invest in innovative talent development programs that prioritize continuous learning and growth. Franklin offers a comprehensive suite of solutions, including:  

– Apprenticeships and occupation-specific “learn while you earn” training programs 

– Upskilling and reskilling initiatives for existing employees 

– Success coaches to ensure training effectiveness for both employers and learners  

Our insightful approach focuses on accurately assessing individuals’ unique strengths and areas for development, while our innovative programs provide tangible pathways for growth and skill acquisition. 

Embracing a People-Positive, Outcome-Oriented Approach 

At the core of our philosophy is a deep commitment to making a real impact – in the lives of the individuals we develop and in the success of the companies we serve. We understand that true transformation requires a people-positive approach, one that prioritizes human potential and fosters an environment conducive to continuous learning and growth. 

As the skills revolution continues to unfold, it is crucial for organizations to embrace an outcome-oriented mindset, focusing on measurable results and tangible impacts. By partnering with Franklin, companies gain a trusted guide in navigating this new landscape, ensuring they remain competitive and future-ready while also driving meaningful change in the lives of their employees. 

The skills revolution presents both challenges and opportunities, but with the right approach and innovative solutions, companies can unlock the full potential of their workforce, cultivate new talent, and pave the way for sustained success in the ever-evolving job market.