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Professional cyber security association and certification body (ISC)² has formally launched two cyber careers schemes, Candidates and Certified in Cybersecurity, as it seeks to broaden access into the sector and plug a shortfall in security professionals that is approaching three million globally.
Its new (ISC)² Candidates scheme is designed for individuals who are already pursuing or considering a career in the world of security, and will provide access to exclusive programmes and services, discounts on (ISC)² certification courses, self-study materials and conferences, with annual dues of $50 (£43) waived until September 2023 as applicants work towards (ISC)² certification.
(ISC)² said it had found existing security professionals said they had faced multiple barriers to entry, including inflated expectations for prior training and work experience among recruiters, as well as obstacles in terms of diversity and inclusion. It hopes the Candidates programme will address both these problems by reducing costs and making security skills more accessible.
CEO Clar Rosso said: “Part of our commitment to addressing the global cyber security workforce shortage is creating new pathways to cyber security career success.
“Whether you are pursuing your first cyber security job or looking to advance within the profession, as an (ISC)² Candidate, you will have access to the resources, benefits and professional development you need to achieve your goals.
“(ISC)² – backed by more than 170,000 members – will be your guide, partner and advocate as you achieve career milestones like joining a local chapter, discovering a mentor at a conference or earning your first (ISC)² certification. We will be there to support you every step of the way.”
Meanwhile, its entry-level Certified in Cybersecurity certification is being formally launched as the organisation strives to open up new pathways into cyber careers for people who may not previously have considered a job in the sector.
The new certification forms the core element of the organisation’s One Million Certified in Cybersecurity programme, which was announced at the end of July, and builds on the success of a pilot scheme hosted in the UK that garnered more than 10,000 sign-ups in just two months.
(ISC)² said 1,500 pilot participants have already sat the initial exam and are well on the path to full certification. Earning full certification will, hopefully, prove to potential employers that applicants have the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities to hold down entry- or junior-level security roles.
“We are facing a growing global cyber security workforce gap of more than 2.7 million people,” said Rosso.
“One of the most persistent cyber security staffing challenges organisations around the world experience is being able to identify entry- and junior-level candidates with the right skills and aptitude to learn and grow on the job.
“At the same time, early career hopefuls are unable to demonstrate their understanding of cyber security concepts and gain the attention of hiring managers.”
Rosso added: “Our Certified in Cybersecurity certification bridges that gap and connects employers to qualified entry-level candidates backed by the world’s largest association of certified cyber security professionals.
“(ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity is one of several impactful solutions under way at (ISC)² to reduce the cyber security workforce gap, remove barriers to entering the field and deliver a positive, long-term opportunity for individuals and employers alike.”
The certification – which also leads to (ISC)² membership – is open to anybody seeking to enter the field, whether they are recent university graduates, people wanting to make a career change, or existing IT professionals looking to add another string to their bow.
It evaluates and certifies five disciplines considered core to cyber security, which are:
- Security principles.
- Business continuity, disaster recovery and incident response.
- Access controls.
- Network security.
- Security operations.
Further details of the certification and examination process are available here.