Everything You Need to Know about the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

With cyber warfare, data breaches and phishing scams hitting headlines daily, the dangers of unsecured data have never been more apparent. While organizations are hungry for cybersecurity talent, the cyber skills gap seems to grow bigger each day. Read on for a deeper understanding of the problems posed by the skills gap, why you should care, and how they can be solved.  

The problem keeping business leaders up at night 

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2022, the global cybersecurity workforce gap increased by 26.2 percent compared to 2021, with 3.4 million more workers needed to secure assets effectively. In 2021, that number stood at 2.72 million. According to a report by Global IT association ISACA, 60 percent of organizations have unfilled cybersecurity positions and 42 percent of their cybersecurity teams are understaffed. 

One of the biggest ways this gap has manifested is through high profile hacks, leaks, and more. However, that's not the only reason the cyber skills gap is bad for business. 

While the pandemic pushed many processes online, companies have had to sprint to ensure their digital systems are able to sustain increased online operations. This situation has brought about an increased awareness from organizations of the value of cybersecurity within their operations: That’s in part because the financial toll of a cybersecurity hack can be devastating. IBM’s Cost of Data Breaches Report 2022 quotes an average total cost of $4.5m (this figure was basically the same whether ransomware was involved or not). Among the 550 companies that IBM contacted that had experienced a data breach, 83 percent had more than one in the same period.  

The issue is so prevalent that recently the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act was introduced among bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress. If passed, it would be aimed at improving the cybersecurity workforce, particularly operators of critical infrastructure technology, by developing postsecondary career and technical education programs that integrate cybersecurity education. The timing for government support for a stronger cybersecurity talent pipeline might be critical: With the looming retirement of almost 800,000 IT workers through 2024, this problem is only going to get worse. 

The solution 

Properly staffing IT departments is only part of the challenge for employers: the field requires consistent training so workers can stay up to date on the latest technologies and threats. One solution? IT certifications. In a market this starved for qualified applicants, certifications provide a powerful way to upskill employees quickly, or hire trained applicants. Because certifications are governed by their issuing companies and administered through examinations, they provide an objective, third party verification of skills that employers respect. 

With the existing skills gap already so large, and the looming retirement of so many professionals on the horizon, you can see what a huge problem this will be. But for those with the right training to be part of the solution – both professionals and the companies they work for - this is an opportunity as well.  

Interested in Cybersecurity Training? 

Ultimately, a certification is a great, cost-effective way to get into the lucrative IT field for a fraction of the cost of a university. With the continuing upward trend in salaries, the IT industry is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

One of the most widely recognized beginner certifications is the CompTIA A+ certification. CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, is a nonprofit trade organization based in the U.S. that has developed and administered professional IT certifications for over 20 years. It is one of the biggest providers of vendor-neutral IT certifications and recognized globally as a distinguished issuer of certifications.Just earning the certification can open doors into most entry-level IT positions and supply potential promotions for those already in the field. If you’re looking to kickstart your IT career, this is the path for you. And at ACI Learning, we are proud of our status as an official training partner of CompTIA

Cybersecurity Training at ACI Learning Hubs 

Certifications can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in salary. That is why, at ACI Learning Hubs, we balance by-the-book training that helps people pass their exams with real-world, hands-on experience. This ensures our students can take their learning beyond the classroom and be fully prepared for a brand-new career.  

ACI Learning offers multiple cybersecurity training programs that can prepare you to enter or advance within this exciting industry. Let’s look at some of the key training routes and the roles that fit them within cybersecurity: 

CompTIA Security+ 

Certification: CompTIA Security+ 

Base Training Period: 10 days 

Skill Level: Beginner 

Recommended Experience: None is needed 

Ideal for: The information and activities in this course help you build your computer security skill set so you can confidently perform your duties in security-related roles. If you’re an IT professional with networking and administrative skills in Windows®-based Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks; familiarity with other operating systems, such as macOS®, Unix®, or Linux®; to further an IT career, this is the next course for you. You will learn and use fundamental security principles to install and configure cybersecurity controls and participate in incident response and risk mitigation. 

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Certified Network Defender 

Certification: CND 

Base Training Period: 10 days 

Skill Level: Intermediate 

Prerequisites: CompTIA Security+ 

Ideal for: If you've completed Security+ and want to keep building your resume and knowledge base, Certified Network Defender can be completed in one week and is a HUGE step up from Security+. Certified Network Defender (CND) is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security certification program created by EC-Council. This tactical network security training course prepares network administrators to defend their networks from intrusion. Through this course, you'll gain a hands-on understanding of data transfer, network technologies, and network software needed to secure a network. 

Roles you'll be qualified for: Network Administrator, Network Security Administrator, Network Security Engineer, Network Defense Technician, and Security Analyst 

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Certified Ethical Hacker 

Certifications: CEH 

Base Training Period: 10 days 

Skill Level: Intermediate 

Prerequisites: CompTIA Security+ 

Ideal for: If you enjoy detective work and want to get inside the mind of a hacker, this is the perfect program for you. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will provide a thorough understanding of the attack vectors and methods of hackers. 

Learn More 

Meeting Your Needs, Exceeding Your Expectations 

 We understand the pressures of working full-time while still wanting to advance education and earning potential. That’s why we offer classes during the morning, afternoon, or evening, on campus, or online to meet any schedule and learning style.We offer instructor-led IT training classes online, on campus, and during the day or at night. Our live labs ensure that you have practical, real-time experience so you're prepared to start your new career. If you’re a manager looking to quickly upskill your team or provide critical ongoing training, we also offer a live online training option for teams. 

With flexible schedules, you'll get trained, certified, and jump into the cybersecurity industry as quickly as possible.  

For students who opt to train via our ACI Learning Hubs, we combine state-of-the-art training with strong Career Services support to create the employment outcomes our students are seeking. Each student has 1-on-1 help from an Employment Development Manager whose only goal is to help students get hired! This path is also offered in a new apprenticeship model, which pairs students with employers so that they can gain on-the-job experience while completing their studies. 


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