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A University degree is not essential for a career in cyber security

Cyber security is one of the hottest topics and fields in IT right now. Sadly, it’s also suffering from a huge lack of skilled professionals. One of the reasons is that it’s viewed as one of the most complex sectors and that traditionally is tied to a university degree. According to senior IT security professionals, that’s not the case.

A survey by MWR InfoSecurity among 200 senior IT security professionals tells an interesting story. It turns out top IT pros put value in other things. 46% say one of the required core skills is curiosity. Only 34% say previous experience is key.

About half of respondents say salary an culture are important for potential recruits when they choose a new employer. 49% say they view UK as one of the top five countries in terms of cyber security while 46% say it’s average.

The data also shows that open positions in cybersecurity can sometime remain free for months before a suitable candidate approaches. The problem is that there’s a serious shortage of skills in cyber security. Chris Batten, managing director of cyber security recruitment company Acumin says to Computer Weekly that some companies have a better approach to this issue.

“Those employers that are able to attract a wide range of competences when building their cyber security teams are not only able to recruit and retain staff more easily, but also, in marketing the profession and their business more broadly, they attract candidates from a diverse segment of the workforce”, he says.

Another way is IT apprenticeships and active, additional trainings. This way the employees can continue to learn and develop their skills while actively working in the company as well. This approach also opens the field for people outside of the usual traditional backgrounds.