Security leaders are increasingly open to the idea of apprenticeships as a solution to help attract more young people into the cyber sector, according to the results of an informal Twitter poll run by the promoters of the annual Infosecurity Europe fair, currently scheduled to take place in some form in June 2021.
The poll set out to explore issues around the skills shortage in security specifically, prompted by a recent study from security association (ISC)² that revealed over three million unfilled roles worldwide, even as over a third of organizations enact hiring freezes thanks to the pandemic.
Almost half (42.5%) of respondents said that increasing cyber apprenticeships was the way to go, in contrast with 27.1% who wanted more formal career paths into the sector. Other suggestions included a greater focus on encouraging young people through highlighting security role models and mentors and emphasizing diversity in security teams.
Media senior research director Maxine Holt said: “After doing my BTEC in computer studies, I got an apprenticeship, learning on the job while studying part-time for my degree. I also got to work in other parts of the business, which helped me understand how they interacted with IT.”
Steve Wright, the Bank of England’s chief information security officer (CISO) of privacy culture, and formally interim data protection officer, said: “We can do more to open up apprenticeships or internships that encourage people to see if information security is for them, but as a permanent measure we’ve got to look at what’s going to attract people at the right age. I think more could be done to make it part of the school curriculum.”