Washington, DC – September 2, 2016 – This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.8 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.6 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand "job-ready" employees and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate career education and training.
The skills gap is especially pressing in the cyber security sector with demand for trained talent expected to rise over the next two years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for cyber security jobs will grow 53% by 2018. With high-profile security breaches continuing to make news headlines, this demand is more important than ever.
A record 79% of survey respondents said they detected a security incident in the past 12 months, according to PwC’s 2015 State of US Cybercrime Survey. Unfortunately, new entrants are failing to keep pace with the sector’s demand. According to a 2015 analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Peninsula Press, more than 209,000 cyber security jobs in America are unfilled, with postings up 74% over the past five years.
The demand for cyber security talent is expected to continue to rise over the next two years, a trend that could worsen the labor shortage. Michael Brown, CEO at security software vendor Symantec, previously told Forbes that by 2019, global demand for cyber security professionals is expected to rise to 6 million, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million.
The career education sector is helping to close this gap: schools like the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona give both traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to advance their careers in high-demand sectors like cyber security. UAT President and Cyber Security Canyon board member Jason Pistillo recently told Phoenix Business Journal, “The problem is a lack of talent. Companies have plenty of marketplace to grow, they just can’t scale fast enough because there’s not enough talent. We want to tackle this low hanging fruit.”
Marlon Burno, 41 and a first-year student at UAT, recently told the Phoenix Business Journal why he decided to move into the cybersecurity industry: commenting on all the security breaches in the news, he said, “I want to figure out why it’s happening. I want to fix it myself or be involved to help protect other people’s information.”
“Unless we take action and prepare students to fill these open positions, we will continue to read about serious data breaches every few weeks. As providers of cyber security specialists, career education colleges and universities can help ensure America’s workforce is equipped with the skills necessary to combat the growing threat of cybercrime,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities.
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America's "Shortage of Skills" (SoS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America's economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU's work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.