Online cybersecurity career development platform Cybrary has released the findings from the “Cybrary Skills Gap Research Survey and Report,” which examines the current challenges, perceptions, and impacts of the cybersecurity skills gap faced by IT and security teams worldwide.
The survey questioned respondents about the employer contributions towards their skill development, their level of personal commitment to growing their skills, and the current level of organizational support and opportunities offered for skill development.
Conducted in June 2020, the survey received more than 800 responses from IT and security professionals located around the globe with the majority from North America. The report found that
• 68 percent of respondents report investing their own free time, outside working hours to improve their cyber skills;
• Nearly 3 out of 4 respondents agree that skill gaps exist on their teams;
• 65 percent of managers agreed that skills gaps have a negative impact on their team’s effectiveness;
• 40 percent of individuals say they spend time working to learn new job skills every day, while another 38 percent reported at least once a week; and
• 46 percent of organizations do not confirm new hire skills for specific roles and 40 percent rarely or never assess the skills of newly onboarded team members.
“Year after year, we see the cyber skills gap hindering the performance and productivity of IT and security teams, and this survey confirms that organizations still have a lot of work to do to provide their staff with the right training, guidance, and support they need,” said Ryan Corey, CEO of Cybrary. “Despite industry-wide recognition around this growing skills gap, there has been little movement in bridging this gap. To make progress, organizations must empower and support IT and security teams by giving them the time and resources they need to grow their skill sets within their current role. It’s truly a win-win situation, contributing to both the individual’s career growth as well as organizational goals.”
While it’s clear industry professionals are committed to advancing their careers, this survey shows limited progress from organizations in supporting employees and investing in their continued career development, despite the expectation for employees to keep pace in their dynamic roles. The survey also reveals that employers need to break down significant barriers, such as cost (33 percent) and lack of time (28 percent) that are preventing IT and Security professionals from getting the skills training they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. With about half of organizations either decreasing their training budgets (22 percent) or keeping them the same (25 percent) this past year, it’s not surprising that industry professionals struggle to find opportunities to improve their skills for their work.
“The industry is overdue for a wake-up call to address the IT and security skills gap and talent shortage, especially as we enter a new era of remote work,” said Ron Gula, founder of Gula Tech Adventures and Cybrary Board Member. “This vision for attracting and retaining talent can only be fulfilled if organizations continuously invest in their employee’s career and skills development. By assessing existing IT and security training programs, organizations can finally begin to empower their employees to scale their current skills and ultimately, their careers.”