Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Gap: EdTech’s role

With the rapid evolution of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud infrastructures, quantum computing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity has never been more paramount.

Just consider these two recent alarming incidents:

  • MGM Resorts, the renowned casino chain, is grappling with its 11th consecutive day of extensive I.T. downtime due to a cyber-attack. The estimated revenue bled is $4-8 million daily (= nearly 20% of its daily earnings), as the company stands firm against paying the ransom.
  • In August 2023, Japanese authorities confirmed a Chinese cyberattack on critical Defense infrastructure, raising eyebrows in the U.S. military establishment, given the potential risks associated with the leakage of classified intel.

As evident from the above, cybercriminals cast a wide net and don't seem picky when choosing their targets. From pharmaceutical giants and financial powerhouses to governmental bodies and energy sectors, no domain appears to be off-limits. Even the very foundations of our education system are under threat. School districts and higher education institutions have not been spared. A research study by Sophos highlighted that a staggering 79% of interviewed Higher Education institutions across 14 countries fell prey to ransomware attacks in 2023 alone. In our interconnected world, the ubiquity of cyber threats underscores the importance of fortifying our cyber defenses.

As enterprises scale up and cybercriminals refine their craft, public and private entities need to provide robust strategies for enhancing cybersecurity. But despite regulatory activity and countermeasures (update of hardware and processes), a report from Fortinet reveals that the cybersecurity sector needs to be workforce-ready: 69% of organizations believe they are more vulnerable due to a lack of skilled cybersecurity professionals. This statistic emphasizes the pressing need for organizations to invest in top-tier cybersecurity talent but also suggests a more significant systemic issue: a gap in the cybersecurity talent pipeline.

So, how bad is it?

  1. Cybersecurity Talent Gap: In the U.S. alone, the cybersecurity sector lacks about 410K specialized roles, encompassing positions like cybersecurity engineers, analysts, and network security architects. The World Economic Forum pinpoints this deficit at 3.4 million jobs on a global scale.
  2. Projected Growth: Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an impressive 31% surge in security analyst positions from 2021 through 2029.
  3. Generational Concerns: CybersecurityDive, referencing the ISC2 blog, reveals a troubling trend: the younger generation appears less inclined towards pursuing careers in cybersecurity. This suggests that the sector's supply-demand gap will remain for the foreseeable future.

How can we address these alarming trends? Often, the solution lies in education, mostly, it's upskilling component.

  • The traditional education framework struggles to adequately train and skill today's workforce (let alone the future one), even when reinforced by prominent initiatives like the White House's National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy.
  • That is why we will see enhanced partnerships with tech giants like Google, Microsoft, or Oracle, who have already pledged programs and funding for training or upskilling tens of thousands of students.
  • Well-established cybersecurity companies like Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Cisco, among others, will join the upskilling trend to reinforce and replenish their workforce and provide hands-on expertise in this field.
  • The dynamic arena of EdTech, represented by platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, Simplilearn, and DataCamp, along with cybersecurity-focused pioneers like ThriveDX, Cloud Academy, A Cloud Guru | A Pluralsight Company, ISC2, and Cybrary, is also gearing up to deliver vital content and ensure partnerships with some of the companies above. Either through degrees, short-term certifications, executive education formats, or intensive boot camps, the EdTech sector will capture a good chunk of the cybersecurity upskilling market.
  • Considering the expanding market potential and skyrocketing workforce requirements, anticipate the rise of innovative online education startups laser-focused on cybersecurity training and upskilling. In the coming 3 to 5 years, we will spotlight companies currently not on our radar but who will have secured substantial funding rounds.

The journey ahead in the EdTech realm promises to be challenging and exhilarating!

Talk to One of Our Experts

Get in touch today to find out about how Evalueserve can help you improve your processes, making you better, faster and more efficient.  

Alexandru Onojescu
Senior Manager, Education and EdTech Practice Posts
Laura Suarasan
Lead Analyst, Education and EdTech Practice Posts

Latest Posts