The U.S. Department of Commerce has reported that thousands of cyber security jobs remain unfilled as of 2018, with demand being higher in California than anywhere else in the nation. As demand continues to grow and companies struggle to find highly skilled workers, companies are changing their recruitment strategies to meet their own high demand. According to a report by cyber scoop, fifteen major companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google and IBM, recently announced changes to their recruitment to expand the pool of eligible candidates. Candidates will no longer be required to have a four-year degree, as the requisite cyber security knowledge, tools and skills evolve much faster than traditional academic universities can match in pace.
Additionally, these companies are working to rework job descriptions, including simplifying requirements and removing gendered language or other language that may cause some candidates to feel they would not fit the role. According to a Hewlett Packard internal report, women feel they need to meet 100% of job requirements in order to apply to jobs, whereas men apply when they only meet 60% of the requirements. Simplifying requirements will help encourage more qualified candidates to apply, as a laundry list of requirements can deter some qualified applicants from applying. Also, the trend of "fun" job titles and descriptors are being revised, as companies are removing words like “ninja”, “rockstar”, “competitive” and “confident” that may unnecessarily deter applicants by implying qualifications that aren't actually needed. The goal is to reduce the gender gap in cyber security, and tech at large, by making the application process and career prospects more accessible and welcoming to all people.
UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education recently launched the Cyber Security Immersion Academy to meet the training needs of aspiring cyber security professionals. The Cyber Security Immersion Academy is a simulation-based, online program designed to provide students with the core skill set needed to work in the information security field. Equipped with the latest cyber security tools, learners are immersed in an authentic simulation environment and must complete the tasks embedded in the realistic, but fictional, context of work as an entry-level employee of a government cyber operations agency. This “learn by doing” educational format has a proven track record for successfully preparing students for a career in the cyber security field.