The skills shortage within the Cyber Security industry shows no signs of abating. As the previous owner of a business providing cyber security specialists, I know from bitter experience that trying to scale up using graduates or career transitioners, whilst balancing the ever increasing pace of the market, is at best a juggling act.
Even in today’s much improved landscape, most graduates leaving university today are under-equipped to start their new roles, as we hear regularly from our colleagues in the industry. “We have to dedicate the first 3-6 months of employment to training our new employees up” is a common comment. And finding that time to dedicate to the education of new talent is expensive, especially when the benefit can be outweighed by the opportunity cost.
Given the under-prepared nature of many graduates entering the industry, it’s no great surprise that when running our CTM exams we find a 80% failure rate at CHECK practitioner level. 9/10 of the candidates are missing core knowledge of key syllabus areas, haven’t quite understood a core principle / tool or process and sometimes simply haven’t undertaken any practical examinations since leaving education.
The answer is not boot-camping, which would be a dangerous precedent leaving employees, the industry and indeed UK PLC exposed and under prepared. However equally the answer isn’t to repeatedly push candidates through tough exams when they are ill prepared and likely to fail.
The answer is to allow common sense to prevail and provide an education pathway which is a viable and cost effective solution.
The Cyber Scheme publishes the syllabus for its CTM and CTL exams on our web site as open source material for anyone who wishes to view the required assessment methodology; this is a great start point for companies to perform a basic skills GAP analysis. Please visit our syllabus pages via the links below: