The Next Generation Should Complete an Apprenticeship, Not a Degree

UK cybersecurity is now worth £8.3 billion and is staffed by 43,000 full time employees. However, despite this positive growth, there aren’t enough people to fortify organizations against cybercrime, with the average data breach costing businesses £3 million. In 2018, (ISC)² found the global skills gap had grew by 33%; 65% of firms have a shortage of cyber staff; and that the UK needs to increase its workforce by 291,000 people to plug the gap. Apprenticeships are the answer. The pool of cybersecurity grads is small, partly because university is inaccessible to many, so hiring strategies need to urgently move away from exclusively hiring graduates if we are to deal with this crisis. Opening cybersecurity up to more apprentices will not only create a larger and more diverse workforce; they will also better equip individuals to tackle the modern cyber threat because apprenticeships teach both technical skills and real world knowledge. Any cyber professional will agree that hands on experience and people skills are fundamental when dealing with the biggest vulnerability in any organization: its employees.

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