How many of us have heard from Cybersecurity Ventures that the cybersecurity unemployment rate has dropped to zero-percentage? This news has become the base for many security blogs, hiring firms, industry discussions, and of course the training institutes.
The growing awareness of this lack of information security professionals has left organizations trying to identify the requirements of security and pooling the resources internally or outsourcing in the best interest of the company. The demand for cybersecurity professionals has encouraged many industry experts to enter this growing industry as legendary trainers, attracting people in large numbers to learn and serve on defensive roles. Even though there is a collective effort from different phases of the industry, cybersecurity is still struggling to survive the labor epidemic.
The reasons could be many:
- Small Channel for Producing Talent
Lack of awareness about career prospects in the cybersecurity industry has led to the dearth of professionals. Furthermore, the lack of accredited training facilities and the quality of training has contributed to this growing skill gap. This has left the opportunities in the cybersecurity industry at a ratio of 2:1, with a minimum of two jobs available for each person of talent present.
The demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019 – Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec. 
- Unmatched Job Roles
Due to the lack of sufficient talent, organizations are assigning multiple job roles to a single hired professional. The employee is pushed to handle diverse job roles, most of which he will not be able to justify.
The PwC State of Cybercrime conducted a survey on organizations to understand whether they have the expertise to address cybersecurity issues and implement new technologies. The survey revealed that only 26% have agreed to hire skilled staff while the majority relies on a combination of internal and external expertise to address cyber risks. 
Government research has also revealed the same challenges of a shortage of cybersecurity talent. The research indicates that there are more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. unfilled whereas, job postings are always on the rise. 
- Knowing Where Your Skill Lies
It is important that one must know what they are capable of doing. Decisions to specialize in a domain of the industry must be well thought out and planned. For example, if you are looking to become a ‘software developer’, you must learn various programming languages. Similarly, to be a database administrator, gaining knowledge on database administration and its tools is important.
On the same grounds, those who like to attack web pages to help developers patch vulnerabilities may not be interested in analyzing the source code for weaknesses. Hence, anyone interested in cybersecurity should differentiate these roles and choose the path that matches their interest.
- Lack of Experienced Cybersecurity Professionals
There is an ample number of students graduating with cyber degrees but unable to get a job due to the lack of minimal experience. According to ESG research from early 2017, 45 percent of organizations claim to have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of cybersecurity professionals claim they are too busy with their jobs to keep up with skills development and training. 
In aggregate, many organizations lack relevant cybersecurity skills and remain understaffed. After realizing the significance of cybersecurity, the organizations are ready to invest in skilled workforce but they are too busy to invest in education and upgrade their staff skills. Instead of investing on hiring experienced staff, organizations can invest in skill improvement and can try and cope with the situation of the labor epidemic.
- Lack of commitment from organizations
According to the “World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report”, most of the cybercrimes go unreported.  Only a few companies come forward with information on their losses by compromising esteem value and taking the risk of legal action. The significant percent of cyberattacks goes undetected because of the fear of legal action, the risk of having an organization’s reputation at stake, and the vulnerabilities becoming public. When the real issues are revealed openly, the scope in cybersecurity would boost the aspiring young talent to consider it as a career.
The cybersecurity labor shortage is a real epidemic as many government and private companies are desperate to hire cyber staff to protect and defend against increasingly hostile threatscape. Cyber-earthquakes are sending chills down the spines of big enterprises, even though they claim to have not been breached. While the latest cybersecurity tools can help combat the latest vulnerabilities, companies and government agencies are on a talent hunt for professionals who know how to use these tools appropriately.
Overcoming the Cybersecurity Labor Epidemic
Become a cybersecurity professional. The industry is evolving and creating a lot of employment potential. To lead tomorrow as a successful cybersecurity professional, begin your career today. Wait no more and join our Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity or Master of Science in Cybersecurity. EC-Council University is a pioneer in cybersecurity education and training with various programs at bachelor and master levels. For more details, visit our Academics page: https://www.eccu.edu/academics/