3.4 Million Cybersecurity Professionals Wanted: Overcoming the Cybersecurity Talent Crisis Starts with You 

3.4 Million Cybersecurity Professionals Wanted: Overcoming the Cybersecurity Talent Crisis Starts with You 

How desperate is the cybersecurity candidate crisis, and how can you leverage this shortage as a job seeker? 

According to an estimate from Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime costs the global economy 7 trillion USD. So much that if it were a country, it would be the world’s third largest economy – trailing the United States and China and larger than the economy of Japan or Germany. 1 

Cybercrimes such as ransomware, malware, phishing, and identity theft, among others, have wreaked havoc on both private and public spheres of the global economy, showing no signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future. 

What’s more concerning is the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals is not keeping up with the demand. There’s a shortage of 3.4 million cybersecurity professionals, up 26 percent from the previous year. 

This shortage of candidates needs to be mitigated if the global economy is to weather the lingering threats of cybercrime and other malicious actors who have only gotten bolder and more sophisticated. 

But where should the industry look to alleviate the skills shortage? What are the salient factors behind the skills gap in cybersecurity? 

Why Is There a Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals?  

Experts and analysts have determined that one of the reasons for the widening cybersecurity skills shortage lies in young professionals who are entering the job market straight from university having no interest in landing a role in the cybersecurity industry. 

If Gen Z workers chose to enter the tech sector, they are drawn to other areas such as software development, artificial intelligence, or video game development. Cybersecurity is not a popular option. 

Concerning this, analysts are also quick to point out that colleges and universities have failed to keep up with the demands of the times – especially when it comes to technology and its building blocks – mathematics and science. 

Many experts fault academia for failing to give young professionals and current students sufficient knowledge, skills, and training in math and sciences. These individuals then fail to qualify for advanced programs and roles in the tech sector, such as cybersecurity. 

Essentially, the shortage lies not with the lack of people for the role but the lack of essential skills and training for these individuals to succeed in a cybersecurity role. It is, therefore, a skills shortage that causes the cybersecurity skills gap and candidate crisis. 

In addition, when companies seek to hire cybersecurity professionals, they often prioritize experienced individuals who possess all the necessary knowledge and skills in the field. Unfortunately, some companies are reluctant to provide training for their current employees, failing to recognize that new skills can be acquired through additional training. 

The focus is too much on technical know-how instead of capitalizing on a new hire or existing employee’s soft skills and trainability to master new skill sets. 

Read more: The Global Talent Crunch: Is the War for Tech Talent Over? 

What the Skills Shortage Means for Tech Professionals Like You 

The lingering shortage of candidates in the cybersecurity realm presents a golden opportunity for candidates eyeing a role in this field. Since demand for these roles far surpasses supply in the job market, you must invest in yourself and learn the skillset necessary for a successful career in cybersecurity. 

But perhaps the fundamental question that you are asking yourself is – how do you begin? 

The minimum education requirement for a career in cybersecurity is a college degree. If you don’t have it now, you need to consider acquiring it. The best part is you can directly obtain this qualification online or via a hybrid program.  

You may also consider an associate degree since the demand for cybersecurity professionals is very high. 

Additionally, many cybersecurity professionals have earned degrees in related fields such as computer science, computer engineering, or anything related to information systems. 

After or while pursuing this formal degree, the next best thing for you is to get the necessary experience. If you are a newbie, the easiest route would be to take internships and apprenticeships. These will go a long way in helping you get the necessary exposure and on-the-job training in cybersecurity. 

Moreover, an internship would give you a head-start in developing your professional portfolio. A technical portfolio is vital once you start applying for full-time jobs in cybersecurity. 

A successful career in cybersecurity is typically preceded by obtaining certifications vital to the role. These certifications would serve as your proof of mastery of cybersecurity knowledge. These certifications increase your marketability, bump up your salary, and enhance your confidence in tackling the complex demands of this role. 

Some of the most popular certifications include the following: 

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)2 – Administered and conferred by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), this certification is proof that you can competently control and monitor an organization’s information systems. Professionals with this certification must have at least five years of experience and a passing score on the CISA test. 


Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM)3 – This is geared towards seasoned cybersecurity professionals seeking to progress into a leadership role. Administered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), certified professionals possess information security governance expertise as well as advanced knowledge of incident and risk management. 


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)4 – Given by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), it is the quintessential certification for any cybersecurity professional with at least five years of experience. Certified professionals get promoted to higher cybersecurity roles with ease and relative speed. 


Finally, cybersecurity boot camps have gained prominence among tech professionals. Many tech employees often find these boot camps as a more feasible and practical alternative to returning to university. 

While these boot camps are expensive, they offer personalized courses for candidates interested in entering entry-level cybersecurity positions such as information security analysts, systems administrators, or IT auditors. 

Some of the most prominent cybersecurity boot camps include Arizona State University’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp, Fullstack Academy’s Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp, and Springboard Cybersecurity Career Track. 

You can learn more about these boot camps online and register for one that fits your schedule and budget. These boot camps should be able to help you jumpstart your career path toward becoming a cybersecurity expert. 

Read more: Cybersecurity Today: What Are New and Current Means to Stay Safe Online?   


If you are currently a candidate looking to land a job in cybersecurity, consider getting some expert help from Focus People. A highly reputable staffing firm with a strong record of success, Focus People can help you land your dream cybersecurity job. Our focus is on your success. Talk to us today!


  1. Farber, Malcomb. “Cybercrime Damages to Cost the World $7 Trillion USD in 2022.” EIN News. EIN Presswire, 10 Aug. 2022. Web. 20 Feb. 2023. https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/585389499/cybercrime-damages-to-cost-the-world-7-trillion-usd-in-2022 
  2. “CISA Certification: Certified Information Systems Auditor.” ISACA, https://www.isaca.org/credentialing/cisa.  
  3. “CISA Certification: Certified Information Security Manager.” ISACA, https://www.isaca.org/credentialing/cism.   
  4. “ISC2 Certification: Certified Information Systems Security Professional”. (ISC)2, https://www.isc2.org/Certifications/CISSP  

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