Within the cybersecurity industry there is currently a lot of talk about the skills gap, concerns about access to talent, particularly with Brexit on the cards, and whether the UK curriculum is up to scratch when it comes to nurturing the cybersecurity experts of the future.
All this focus on skills and curriculum has had me thinking about my own skillset.
I remember when I was in my final year of university and had just finished stressing about my dissertation and last exams when I suddenly got this feeling of total limbo and a slight panic of ‘What am I going to do now?’ Having an English Literature and Spanish degree doesn’t automatically lead to an obvious career path however, luckily, it does have transferable skills, which is why I slotted right into a Public Relations role.
As our loyal readers will know, I recently participated in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Advanced Certificate and I’m extremely pleased to inform you that I have now completed the course and passed with flying colours (thank you, your congratulations is much appreciated…). Whilst having had excellent mentors here at éclat, and very much hitting the ground running when I started as Junior Account Executive back in 2016, it’s actually this course that has reassured me and (officially) confirmed that I am in the right industry. It also proves that a degree does not have to dictate your career path and the skills you develop whilst studying at university level are varied and can be transferred to a number of jobs.
These transferable skills are something I believe the cybersecurity world is beginning to recognise and take advantage of as people from a variety of backgrounds are joining the industry.
Something that helps with this is Artificial Intelligence (AI), a technology that has gained a lot of attention in the news lately. Within the cybersecurity industry, AI is a bit of a buzzword, some love it, others worry it will replace our jobs, nevertheless, it should be taken seriously. Despite what some may think, entering an era of AI has the potential to be a really good thing. It is already helping to prevent breaches and improve the lives of security analysts by relieving them from 24-hour surveillance, but also, it can allow those with non-security specific degrees to enter this prosperous and ever-growing industry.
Recently there has been a noticeable interest in the UK’s cybersecurity curriculum and whether changes can be made to help close the skills gap and foster new talent. Additionally, individual security experts are addressing the problem and suggesting that backgrounds in subjects such as psychology, linguistics and neuroscience, are becoming ever more important for data scientists, security analysts and others wanting to get into the industry. With those already in the industry promoting such backgrounds, the talent pool already has the potential to grow.
The cybersecurity industry is becoming bigger and better than ever, fighting the ever-growing cyber threat and developing new, innovative products and techniques with which to do this. With all this innovation, research and development happening, think how much this new talent, diverse skillsets and fresh thinking will bring to the industry.
Whilst I am not a data scientist nor hold a degree in Public Relations, I am able to work in a cybersecurity specialist PR agency – something I never anticipated doing – and therefore am proving that a specific skillset does not define a person nor their future.