Are gamers the key to plugging the cyber security skills gap

Cyber security software company, McAfee, recently conducted a survey with close to 1,000 security professionals to learn what they think could be the answer to the cyber security skills gap. And the main finding? Gamers could be the key to addressing the skills gap.

Out of the 650 security professionals and 300 senior security managers who were surveyed, 78% said that the current generation are stronger candidates for cyber security roles, due to the fact that many grew up playing video games. And 92% of those respondents think that the skills gamers learn and hone while playing can help make them a success as a cyber security professional. 

Logic, perseverance and the ability to think outside the box are just some of the skills gamers have that give them the upper hand in searching for cyber security threats. But why does this matter?

The growing demand for cyber security skills

Cybercrime damage costs are expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021, so the need for skilled cyber security professionals has never been higher. 

Almost half (46%) of survey respondents said that they will struggle to keep up with the increase and complexity of cyber threats. Plus, on average, the respondents said they need to increase their security workforce by 24% to meet the growing security risks.

However, finding these professionals isn’t easy, with 81% admitting they struggle to attract talent. With the anticipated shortfall of cyber security professionals set to reach 1.8 million by 2022, it’s no shock that employers are finding it difficult to recruit the cyber security professionals they need. 

Taking advantage of transferable skills

With the well-documented security skills shortage, it is unsurprising that three-quarters of senior managers stated that they would consider hiring a gamer with the right skill traits, even if they didn’t have specific training or experience within security.

Jonathan Martin, Cyber Security Recruitment Specialist at Networkers, commented: 

“With businesses struggling to find the right people for their teams, it is reassuring to hear that so many would consider hiring people with transferable skills and be willing to give talented people the chance to develop a career within cyber security. 

“For those looking to break into the potentially lucrative cyber security career path, it’s still important to demonstrate your interest in the discipline and get across to employers that you want to extend your passion for cyber security into your everyday working life. Obtaining a professional development certification like the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional) and CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) is also a great way to boost your employability.” 

Take a look at our latest cyber security jobs or contact our team for more cyber security careers advice.

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