Why Is There a Cybersecurity Skills Shortage?

According to the latest research published by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2, the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals, there is a gap of close to 3 million cybersecurity jobs globally.1 This kind of statistic points to a worldwide gap in the cybersecurity workforce, often referred to as the cybersecurity skills gap or shortage.

But, is there a cybersecurity skills shortage? And if so, what are the factors driving that workforce gap? There is a debate when it comes to whether there is a shortage and what exactly is causing it. Some cybersecurity industry insiders argue that the cybersecurity skills shortage is often overexaggerated. While others claim that there is already a significant gap that requires a multi-prong solution. Regardless, in today’s digital business world, there are plenty of cybersecurity skills in demand.

Potential Reasons for the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

The global cybersecurity workforce gap is caused by multiple factors. There are issues from a wide range of sources that make it difficult for people to not only obtain the necessary cybersecurity skills but also get a job in the industry. Some of these problems include the following points of tension.

Formal Training Existed Only in Recent Years

While the field of cybersecurity is almost ubiquitous now in today’s professional world, it has not actually existed for that long. The industry was born in the 1980s and formal cybersecurity training has emerged even more recently. While people with nontraditional backgrounds were embraced early on, many companies are starting to require professionals to have degrees in computer science or cybersecurity. This is blocking many skilled cybersecurity professionals over 30 who don’t have those degrees.

Rapid Introduction of New Technologies & Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity is constantly developing, especially since new types of cyberattacks keep on emerging and the number of cyber threats continues to quickly grow. To respond to those threats, the industry often embraces new cybersecurity technologies at a rapid rate. Training programs and courses are struggling to keep up. As a result, recent graduates might enter the workforce with expertise of a technology that has since become obsolete.

Is the Cybersecurity Skills Gap a Myth?

The fact that many cybersecurity jobs are failing to get swiftly filled is acknowledged by both sides of the cybersecurity workforce shortage debate. However, some in the industry argue that it has less to do with a gap in skills and more to do with a failure on the employers’ side.

Too Many Companies Want a “Perfect” Candidate

Many companies looking to add to their cybersecurity teams may have unrealistic expectations; they may be looking for “unicorn candidates.” Mark Aiello, President of cybersecurity talent acquisition firm CyberSN, argues that employers get too hung up on finding the perfect candidate that they look over and miss qualified candidates that have the talent to fit into open job positions.2

Companies Fail to Offer Adequate Training

In the time employers wasted looking for “unicorn candidates,” they could have hired a qualified candidate and taken the time to properly train them. That’s another employer’s weakness industry members point to as a factor for the workforce gap. Companies are not providing enough resources to new hires and existing cybersecurity staff to improve their skills or adapt to new technologies, threats, and other developments. This lack of training opportunities not only lead to stagnant cybersecurity teams, but it also scares off many talented professionals.


TechLaunch is a tech school in South Florida offering cybersecurity technician programs in Miramar. Our dedicated team keeps up with the latest news and innovations in digital technology, cybersecurity, and the overall industry to provide the most up-to-date curriculum to our students. Learn more about the programs and certifications we offer by contacting us or calling 305-783-3599 today!



  1. (ISC)2Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2018
  2. Mark Aiello, Forbes – Here’s What’s Really Behind The Security Skills Shortage