Why Future-Proofing Higher Education is Simpler Than It Sounds

By Roy Zur, Founder and CEO of Cybint

Through the course of the pandemic, cybersecurity attacks and crimes have cost the world $6 trillion (directly and indirectly), double the $3 trillion it cost in 2015. There are many plausible reasons for this widespread occurrence, the greatest of which is human error. The FBI reported that the number of complaints about cyberattacks to their Cyber Division went up to as many as 4,000 a day, a 400 percent increase from what they were seeing pre-coronavirus. Additionally, Microsoft reported that COVID-19 themed attacks jumped in May 2020 to about 30,000 a day in the U.S. alone. 

The world needs more cybersecurity professionals who can do more than identify and prevent cyberthreats—they need to brace themselves for what’s to come, based on the threats we have collectively seen since 2020.

Cyber threats and the future of work

Careers in technology, especially cybersecurity, lean more towards a skill over degree mindset; thereby placing educational facilities in the position to provide programs that equip and empower its learners with career-ready skills for the growing digital market. It is a part of the evolution of educational institutions, which works in parallel with the evolution of the future of work.

Addressing the cybersecurity skills crisis is a collaborative effort, but it is entirely achievable, and many cities, institutions, and organizations have already taken the first steps.

The first steps to address the cybersecurity skills crisis

Universities, colleges, vocational school, training institutions, and other learning communities have the potential to make the most impact to fill the gap by fueling the next-generation of cyber professionals who are seeking great opportunities in a disrupted labor market. The most efficient and impactful way to prepare prospective cyber professionals at a faster rate is through cybersecurity bootcamps, which blend both the hands-on learning of a vocational school and the accelerated speed of an online school to make students workforce ready in a matter of months. Bootcamps, unlike four-year degrees, take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete, and are far more affordable than the average tuition costs for higher education. They are the concrete solution to the cybersecurity job crisis, and can even help upskill working adults who might be looking for new employment in a lucrative and future-proofed environment.

Governments worldwide have taken the initiative to address the crisis in filling the cybersecurity talent shortage across different regions and cities. In the U.S, President Biden said his administration is working to improve the nation’s cybersecurity. As part of a national security speech at the State Department, Biden said “We are launching an urgent initiative to improve our capability, readiness and resilience in cyberspace.” In Israel, the Israel Innovation Authority approved a $43 million budget for 62 programs, including Cybint’s Bootcamp, to train 9,000 unemployed citizens who are interested in entering the Israeli tech ecosystem. There are also efforts across the European union to strengthen the cybersecurity capacity and address emerging cybersecurity challenges—starting with the talent shortage across Europe.

Unlike most other IT roles, the entry level positions in cybersecurity pay exceptionally well. The average advertised salary for a cybersecurity job is now $93,540. That’s a full 16 percent more, or about $13,000 more than the average for all IT jobs. Roles in cybersecurity are also far more stable than most other positions within the tech sector. The cybersecurity industry is projected to triple year over year through 2022, yet the talent and workforce shortage still stands at millions worldwide. One does not need prior experience to enter the field, as there are dozens of positions available within the realm that tap into a multitude of transferable skill sets. With all this in mind, 2021 must become the year in which the talent shortage in the cybersecurity workforce is met, because being prepared for what may be ahead will make all the difference between being proactive and reactive.

About Author:

Roy Zur is the founder and CEO of Cybint, a cyber education company. As a former Israeli Defense Forces Major (Unit 8200), Roy has more than 15 years of experience in cybersecurity and intelligence operations and has developed cyber education programs and technological solutions for companies, educational institutions and government agencies around the world.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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