As some of the long-time followers of éclat’s blog may remember, about 18 months ago I blogged about joining the éclat team from a very different background to most. Unlike many cyber security PR agents, I did not attend university or acquire any form of recognised qualifications. However, the good people of éclat Marketing were willing to give me a chance and offer training along the way. Because of this open-minded approach, I am still here!
Other industries have also started adopting a more liberal attitude to how they recruit new employees. Cyber security is one of these industries and has started to offer alternative routes to launching a career in the sector. Many of us are aware of the skills shortage that cyber security is experiencing. As a result of this, the industry has begun to broaden its horizons on recruitment with some businesses offering apprenticeships in several areas of security, from coding to pentesting and more.
Taking on an apprentice benefits both the employer and the apprentice – the employer has the opportunity to mould a smart, young person into a valuable future employee. The apprentice has the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification whilst learning from experienced professionals and earning a wage. The government department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has also invested £20 million into the Cyber Schools Programme, which will be launched later this year. It is aimed at encouraging secondary school aged children to develop their cyber security skills through extracurricular classes.
Of course, organisations should still look to take on people with conventional backgrounds with relevant experience and degrees too, but equally, do not discount taking on someone from a different background.
So, when you’re next on the lookout for a new team member, don’t dismiss someone solely on their qualifications. Take the time to read their C.V. and consider whether their existing skill set may be useful in the position you’re looking to fill. Before joining éclat, I had spent eighteen years working with horses – of all things! But I had experience in managing teams of people and running my own business for eight of those years. During this time, I gained several transferable skills, one of which was employing and training apprentices. The cyber skills shortage is an issue, but with government schemes and open minded recruitment we can encourage more people to pursue it as a career.