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London cyber security careers fair highlights opportunities

A cyber security careers fair in London on 17 January 2018 is aimed at anyone thinking of a career in the field, including experienced professionals and students

Cyber security is a viable and interesting option for anyone interested in the field, as either a starter career or a mid-career alternative.

The cyber security industry’s top employers will be represented at a day-long cyber careers fair aimed at students, professionals and anyone else considering a career in cyber security.

With demand for cyber security skills set to rocket in the next five years, there is an increasing and wide range of varied and lucrative roles on offer.

Anxiety about the impact and frequency of hacking attacks as well as the rise of digitisation and automation in the workplace have put cyber defenders in serious demand across all industries.

The event, which if free of charge to anyone who registers, is to be hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Cyber Security Challenge UK at Savoy Place in London.

Cyber security employers to be represented at the event include IBM, BAE Systems, BT, Dark Trace, NCC Group, BAE, ROKE, PwC, QinetiQ, Contextis, the NCA and the UK government.

Exhibitors also include Cyber Security Challenge UK, CompTIA, Abertay University, E&T Jobs, and Royal Holloway University.

Cyber security job advice

The event features presentations from guest speakers throughout the day on a wide variety of topics related to cyber security. The sessions include practical guidelines on how to apply for a job in cyber security and information about what cyber security professionals do on a day-to-day basis.

Scheduled to run from 9:30 to 21:30, the event also features an evening programme from 18:30, aimed specifically at those looking to change careers.

According to the event organisers, the cyber career fair will provide the opportunity to meet industry employers and find out more about the broad spectrum of roles available.

Nick Coleman, IET fellow and chair of the IT Panel at the IET, said the world is increasingly becoming digitally connected, which makes companies and infrastructure incredibly vulnerable to cyber hacks.

“This has created a rapid rise in the demand for cyber security roles, with most of the UK’s largest companies devoting more resource to their digital defence,” he said.

Shortages expected for the industry

According to (ISC)2, there will be will be nine million global public and private sector cyber security jobs by 2019 and shortages at every level in the industry.

On the flipside, the organisation’s latest Global information security workforce study predicts a shortfall in IT security professionals of 100,000 in the UK alone, 350,000 in Europe and of up to 1.8 million worldwide by 2022.

“This huge skills demand poses great opportunities for young people and career professionals, who have a flair for problem solving, are good communicators and have a passion for new technology,” said Coleman.

“Cyber security is an exciting, fast paced industry, with roles ranging from ethical hackers, digital forensics and cryptographers. We hope to find the next generation of digital defenders at this event, who can use their talents to make a world of difference to cyber security,” he said.

Read more about information security skills

In September 2017, a survey revealed that Senior IT security professionals do not think a university degree is essential for a successful career in cyber security, with  46% considering curiosity a required core skill, while 34% said on-the-job experience was key.

The UK government is acutely aware the need for skilled cyber security professionals is not being met, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“We are looking at a number of ways to retrain people who are interested in moving into the industry at pace and at scale,” Matt Parsons, head of cyber security skills at DCMS told members of UK technology industry body TechUK in November 2017.

These “interventions” include a two-year bursary pilot programme for candidates taking a GCHQ-accredited masters degree to retrain to become cyber security professionals. 

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