Aug 26 — Demand for cyber security professionals is high. Earlier this year, the United States released figures showing that there are nearly 600,000 unfilled cyber security positions, and that number is expected to grow. Over 80% of cyber security teams are affected by or will be affected by the talent shortage, with a significant number already reporting struggles related to workload management.
Because of the cyber security talent shortage, 79% of a surveyed group report consistently experiencing difficulty monitoring for vulnerabilities, and nearly 70% reported challenges around responding to security incidents. Sixty-percent of respondents acknowledged difficulty related to maintaining high-quality security standards.
New training models
In Tennessee, the healthcare insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc., and East Tennessee State University have teamed up to design a new, intensive program for cyber security professionals. The college and the company intend to develop a pipeline of talent that can competently and capably enter the workforce.
For its part, BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee says that it employees around 1,000 people in information security roles, but at any given point in time, as many as 150 cyber-related positions are vacant.
Participants in the newly designed program will earn a bachelor’s degree in 27 months, which is roughly two years instead of four years. The accelerated schedule translates to summer classes for students, and shorter breaks during the academic year. Students will also be encouraged to participate in paid internships at BlueCross BlueShield that will count towards academic credit. Upon graduation, students can apply for vacancies at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, or anywhere else they wish.
When organizations can find cyber security talent to fill vacancies, workers often require six months to a year in order to get up-to-speed on the intricacies of how a given organization functions.
Says the executive director of BlueSky, the new BlueCross BlueShield and East Tenessee State University partnership, “the concept of BlueSky was really born out of…business needs: One, we can’t find enough people, and two, they need a lot of training once they get here.”
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