Home Cyber Safety Awareness and Prevention Cybersecurity Skills Shortages Present Exciting Career Advancement Opportunities for Students, IT Professionals

Cybersecurity Skills Shortages Present Exciting Career Advancement Opportunities for Students, IT Professionals


The image above is from KLogixSecurity, who published this informative infographic about the growing cybersecurity skills shortage back in 2017. The shortage continues, and by some forecasts, worsens. This is an incredible opportunity for today's students and IT professionals.

While the world is on “Pause” during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, the need for information security professionals continues to grow. When we get back to work and things pick up again before long, these skills will be in higher demand than ever. This is a great time to think about learning these skills, whether you are just getting started down the career path, or you are an established IT professional.

In this interview I did with VirtuIT Systems CEO Michael Murphy, we discuss the challenge, the need, and solutions. Below the video I have shared some excerpts from this very information discussion. Whether you are a student or educator interested in cyber security, or an IT professional or manager interested in understanding the threat and long term and short term solutions, this short video is worth a listen.

The explosion of devices and connections fueling the growing cyber security challenge:

  • 4 Billion Devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) in use today
  • 40 Billion IoT (Internet of Things) end points forecasted by the end of 2021
  • 12% growth in devices year over year

The need to protect business data

  • Your business data is your most important asset, no matter what your size as a business
  • Employees and customers may come and go, but without the data and systems required to run the business, you probably don't have a business to run
  • “Businesses have a responsibility, in many cases regulations require them to [protect their data]…but they ought to just take that responsibility on themselves”
  • This effects everyone – businesses and customers like you and I

The shortage of skilled workers and graduates

  • It is very challenging to find people to hire who have the skills that business is looking for to help protect their data
  • “By 2022, the global cybersecurity workforce shortage has been projected to reach upwards of 1.8 million unfilled positions” (source).
  • At service providers like VirtuIT Systems, it has become necessary to higher “hire for aptitude”, bringing on capable junior engineers and training them and helping them get certified

Encouraging students and professionals to pursue cyber security education

  • While a degree is still the ultimate goal, certifications can be a powerful tool, and require less time and cost than the full degree to attain (and they can be a great stepping stone helping to meet the requirements of a degree)
  • Certifications “fill the holes” in knowledge and skills.
  • Cyber Security Boot Camps are another great opportunity
  • There is plenty of opportunity to start somewhere, with minimum skills, and learn and build on that
  • It helps for students to be aware that the salaries in the cyber security world are excellent
  • Another great way for education to help prepare students for these opportunities and decrease any apprehension is to get them on board early – many K-12 classrooms and schools are exploring coding, robotics, and other information technologies, even down to the very early grades

In summary, there is a huge need that will continue to grow and it presents an amazing opportunity for students of all ages to learn new in-demand skills and enhance their career and financial mobility.

Come explore the Information Technology programs available at The College of Westchester.



  1. The shortage of cybersecurity professionals presents an opportunity for students and IT professionals to advance their careers. The demand for cybersecurity talent keeps increasing as technology becomes more complex, and organizations need their systems, networks, and data secured against cyber attacks
    1 However, education and training institutions in the United States have found it difficult to keep pace with the growing need for cyber talent
    2 Therefore, building awareness around the severity of the talent shortage, communicating the cybersecurity skill sets needed, and implementing courses specific to cybersecurity can help address the skills gap
    3 While finding the right job is never easy, professionals with cybersecurity skills have a distinct advantage in this highly competitive job market
    4 Technical skills can often be taught, but soft skills, which tend to come naturally, are also important
    5 Therefore, students and IT professionals can take advantage of this opportunity by gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to fill the cybersecurity talent gap.

  2. This is quiet an interesting article. Here in Nigeria, the field is sparsely explore and I would appreciate if there are free courses that could be recommended to a starter.


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