Universities struggling to address 200,000 cybersecurity skills shortage

PBS reports that there are now more than 209,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the US, an increase of 74% over the past five years.

UniversitiesDespite the national – and international – shortage of skills, and the increasing demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals, higher education institutes in the United States are clearly struggling to keep up with proliferating cyber threats, such as last year’s attacks on Target, JPMorgan Chase, and Sony.

Higher education shortfall

Cybersecurity expert David Sanger, who teaches a national security course at Harvard that now covers cyber warfare, agrees. He told WGBH’s Kirk Carapezza that universities and colleges are not reacting quickly enough:

“It’s going to take a while. First of all there are not that many faculty [sic] who have thought that much about what’s a very current phenomenon… You’re only now beginning to see the cyber stuff move into the policy side.”

Asked whether there was a playbook for addressing cybersecurity, and what higher education’s role was in creating one, Sanger said:

“Right now there is no playbook. And I think it’s interesting that you use that phrase because there were many people in the White House the week before Christmas who said to me in regard to the Sony case, ‘We don’t have a playbook for this…’ I think the role of higher education in general is to get people prepared for what’s coming, and this is the kind of conflict that they’re going to have to manage in diplomacy and even in the Pentagon going forward.”

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