The Cybersecurity Skills Gap: Who’s To Blame?

The Cybersecurity Skills Gap: Who’s To Blame?

If you’re a hiring manager, you know firsthand about the so-called ‘skills gap’ in cybersecurity, and nearly all IT areas, for that matter. The conventional thinking is that there just aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill those empty seats.

In our travels we see a different story. We see a huge pool of talent, in fact a supply that exceeds current demand. Why the discrepancy?

What’s a ‘qualified’ candidate?

The disconnect may be in that term ‘qualified.’ You might have recruiters out there looking for candidates who check every box on your wish list of skills, and that is understandable. But those recruiters are fishing in the same pond as all the other recruiters working for all the other companies, playing catch and release with the same applicants. No wonder candidates flip from job to job.

Consider whether you could define a qualified candidate this way: Someone who has the technical proficiency you need, is eager and willing to grow on the job, and who’s ready to learn to do things your way and become a long-term, loyal team member. Isn’t that the outcome you’re looking for? That is the textbook definition of an apprenticeship program.

There is a virtual army of apprentice candidates ready to fill your empty chairs, but you won’t find them in those same old places. It’s a different pond, and it’s very well stocked. What the business world needs now is companies like yours ready to embrace and invest in a new way of doing things, a way that changes organizations and changes lives.

More diverse, more loyal

If your concern is that a new approach won’t check the right boxes on your wish list, consider that this is a much more diverse pool of talent than the industry as a whole, with women represented at a rate one-third higher than the average. A 91 percent loyalty rate is a pretty good box to check, also.

So maybe it’s time to ask: Is there really a skills gap, or is the gap between an old and ineffective way of doing things and a new and better way?

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