If 2020 was the year of a ‘cyber pandemic’ then 2021 will likely 'go down in history as the year of the ‘ransomware pandemic’ with ransomware and data breaches setting new global records.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, last year also saw an increase in the number of local and state grants dedicated to cybersecurity as well as a broader escalation of and attention to cyber operations, which should both prove fruitful for the industry, businesses and job seekers in the coming year.
With all of this in mind, the Decipher Bureau team has put their heads together to predict three trends we think will surface for cybersecurity recruitment in 2022.
Prediction 1: Better-equipped, more diverse cybersecurity talent are raring to reduce the industry's ongoing skills gap
While the demand for cyber skills will continue to outpace supply for the coming years, more women and new collar workers (those who develop technical and/or soft skills through nontraditional education paths to work in the technology industry), are entering the cybersecurity workforce. Following a push from higher education, big tech and government initiatives to combat the skills shortage, more pathways into cybersecurity will be opened and explored in 2022. Businesseswill go beyond merely talking about the issue and usher in a new era of response that executes strategies to tackle the cyber talent shortage with enthusiasm for the diverse cyber talent pool of 2022.
What does this mean for hirers? Cybersecurity candidates no longer fit the “prepackaged”portrait that once defined new entrants in the industry and 2022 will see more nontraditional students and established professionals changing career trajectories in cyber than ever before. Also, look out for new opportunities that may emerge from the industry’s talent shift throughout the year as well.
What this means for job seekers: Cyber roles will be competitive despite an ongoing skills shortage in 2022. Stand out from other candidates by improving soft skills that were previously overlooked or undervalued in technical roles and workplaces.
Prediction 2: Next gen and maturing technologies will enable the cybersecurity workforce throughout the year
Cybersecurity mesh, zero trust frameworks and quantum computing are only a few of many technology trends that will define cybersecurity in 2022. The ensuing evolution facing the security and information industries will require new and advanced technical skill sets while accelerating the need for cybersecurity professionals to develop a broad understanding of technologies (e.g. Applied AI) and digital environments (e.g. the Metaverse) as potential threats and/or aids to micro and macro cyber strategies and tactics.
What does this mean for hirers? Look for candidates who show proactive, self-initiative towards problem-solving and learning as well as those who have a keen eye on multiple sectors and trends directly and indirectly related to cyber. These traits that internal or external hirers notice in early stages of recruitment are valuable to highlight when assessing a candidate’s application.
What this means for job seekers: Anyone in or seeking to go into cybersecurity should be on the ball with technical upskilling and training in 2022. Don’t wait until a digital or technical trend has already permeated the industry before you start learning about it. You can also make 2022 a year to find a specific technical skill or industry niche that piques your interests and inspires knowledge sharing with your workplace colleagues and others in your professional network.
Prediction 3: Cyber resiliency will become a key agenda item for States, businesses and professionals
With cyber security now a “must have” and not a “nice to have” for businesses and governments, executives and leaders will shift their attention to becoming cyber resilient – not just secure. This means they are able to operate securely and construct better frameworks that respond to and predict potential threats.
What does this mean for hirers? Finding cyber candidates trained in broad backgrounds will be valuable to set businesses up for success with a range of cyber information and experience. International candidates who can bring expertise from their home country will also bring invaluable awareness to transnational companies or organisations and may provide advance notice of potential threats and reactions thereof that they pick up in their networks abroad.
What this means for job seekers: Conduct thorough and ongoing environmental scanning of a range of R&D topics, current events and trends to draw from in interviews as well as on LinkedIn or other professional networks. Practice writing and sharing thought-leading posts or content within your networks to establish yourself as an expert on a skill, trend or topic.
Cloud migration, cryptocurrency adoption, mobile device targeting and ransomware attacks are sure to continue in cybersecurity headlines throughout 2022. However, cybersecurity decision-makers and professionals will be in a better position than ever to support remote learning and upskilling across the industry, harness next-generation technologies and build our collective cyber resiliency that will allow for better prepared and more proactive cybersecurity operations and workforces in 2022.