Last week I attended an array of virtual sessions at ConnectWise’s IT Nation Connect conference in Orlando, Florida. There were multiple sessions on hiring and retention, which is a hot topic not only in the IT industry, but the imaging industry along with businesses across all industries.
On Sunday morning, November 14 those sessions hit home for me when I received an email notification from The Norwalk Hour, my former hometown newspaper, with the headline, “Cyberattacks Surging as Connecticut Faces Workforce Shortage.” Arriving on the heels of the IT Nation Connect conference, that news story validated what was presented in the hiring and retention-related sessions.
As I learned at the conference and was reported in the article, there is a shortage of skilled professionals to help governments, businesses, and individuals protect themselves and recover from an ever-increasing wave of cyberattacks. According to the article, Connecticut’s cybersecurity workforce increased by only 1% between 2015 and 2020, representing the seventh slowest rate in the nation, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Hour further reported that the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs nationwide is estimated at 464,000, including 3,800 in Connecticut, according to Cyberseek, an organization backed by a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Records from the Connecticut Attorney General’s office reveal that the number of data breaches in Connecticut increased by 20% each year over the last three years, which makes filling those cybersecurity positions a high priority. The shortage of cybersecurity workers in Connecticut follows a broader national trend, according to the paper. The annual Cyberstates report from nonprofit trade association CompTIA places Connecticut forty third nationwide in 2021 in the number of tech jobs the state has added, revealing slow growth in the overall tech workforce, according to The Hour. The cybersecurity workforce in Connecticut also decreased slightly between 2020 and 2021 per the CompTIA report. On a more positive note, CompTIA projects that cybersecurity will be the fastest-growing field among all tech occupations between 2020 and 2030.
What does this mean to managed services providers and dealers who offer managed IT, including cybersecurity services? In the short term, the answer is simple, increased competition for talent, which require organizations to find creative ways to recruit individuals for these critical cybersecurity positions. Let’s hope that CompTIA is correct and that an abundance of talent will eventually be available to fill those critical cybersecurity positions.
Future installments of IT Tuesdays will identify the creative ways managed services providers and dealers are recruiting cybersecurity talent.
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