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Indeed says there’s a cybersecurity skills gap, could you capitalize on it?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Capitalize on the surplus of jobs by learning a new tech skill.

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Cyber war

Data breaches, election hacking, and remote spying are all very real issues we face, and surprise, apparently we’re not entirely equipped to deal with it. According to Indeed, there’s a huge global cybersecurity skills gap.

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Indeed compiled two years of data from ten countries to identify where the greatest demand for cybersecurity jobs are and where the field is showing growth.

Vacancies everywhere

There are currently around one million cybersecurity jobs left unfilled.

Based on millions of job postings, Israel’s need for cybersecurity professionals more than doubles the need of the US.

Israel’s demand surpasses the US by 187.4 percent, and is 89.2 percent higher than Ireland, who falls in second place.

Though Israel and Ireland are quite small countries compared to others who ranked in the top ten, they put a strong emphasis on security and technology.

Israel in the lead

In fact, Israel has more startups and scientists than any other country in the world per capita.

Israel ranks second only behind the US as a cybersecurity goods and services exporter.

Likewise, Ireland is a major tech center who house European operations for Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Dell.

Shortage in skills

Cybersecurity skill shortages are a problem worldwide.

According to the key findings, the supply of job seekers only exceeds 50 percent of employer demand in the US and Canada.

This truly is a crisis. With so few professionals seeking out cybersecurity jobs, the more positions left unfilled, the more exposed we all are to cybercrime.

Picky, picky

Certain skills are more sought than others. Network security specialists are in the highest demand in Israel, Ireland, the UK, the US, and Germany.

Network security outranks mobile security, application security, identity, and access management in these countries.

But there simply aren’t enough skilled professionals to fill the demand.

Job supply > job demand

According to Indeed’s findings, the supply for cybersecurity jobs outweighs the demand in all top ten countries.

Although the gap varies, across the board there are not enough job seekers worldwide looking to fill the postings.

Fortunately, over the past two years the supply of cybersecurity professionals has increased in some markets.

Ireland is closing the cybersecurity gap

So far Ireland has come closest to closing the skills gap, with 39 percent of job seekers interested in positions in 2016 versus only 25 percent in 2014.
The US has seen only a seven percent increase in interest, but at least it is some improvement.

However, some countries mismatch between supply and demand is getting worse.

Canada, the UK, and Brazil all saw decreases in job seeker interest, with Canada suffering a 12 percent decline.

Cloud security roles are the least met supply, but there are some skills with a surplus of job seeker interest.

For example, in the US Chief Information Security Officer interest surpasses employer demand by 200 percent.

This doesn’t mean that everyone seeking this position is highly qualified, but it is still important to consider why there is such a demand for this position among job seekers.

Part of the draw could be due to the high salary and prestige of certain positions.

What to do about our gap?

So how can countries suffering a supply-demand imbalance close the gap?

Employers could look to other countries as a source of talent since interest gap is not the same for each country.

Those seeking to fill ethical hacking positions might seek applicants from the UK where there is a surplus.

Additionally, some cybersecurity organizations stress that treating cybersecurity as a nesting doll within computing rather than its own standalone field is part of the problem.

Organizations can identify qualified professionals and offer on-job training to help close the gap. However, there isn’t one simple fix.

A bit exposed

Cybersecurity is a complex profession that requires advanced certifications and an in-depth understanding of risks businesses face.

Closing the skills gap is crucial, but until the talent pool grows, cybercrime will continue to be a major threat.

#CyberSecurity

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Business News

Unify your remote team with these important conversations

(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.

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Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.

According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.

Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.

Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.

With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.

The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.

Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.

This story was first published in November 2020.

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Business News

How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS NEWS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Age discrimination lawsuits are coming due to the pandemic – don’t add to the mess

(BUSINESS NEWS) Age discrimination is spreading despite intentions to help, and employers need to know how to proceed in this unprecedented era.

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Ageism void

Before the pandemic, age discrimination was prevalent in workplaces. The EEOC reports that in 2018, about 6 out of 10 workers aged 45 years and older say they experience discrimination on the job.

A 2015 survey found that 75% of older workers found age an obstacle in job hunting. COVID-19 made the situation much worse.

Not only do older workers deal with discrimination, but they are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the virus. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, older workers were hit the hardest by job loss during the pandemic, which is unusual during a recession. As offices reopen, employers need to be careful to avoid age discrimination in rehiring.

Lawyers expect age discrimination lawsuits to increase.

Last September, Harris Meyer published an article in the ABA Journal that predicted a “flood of age discrimination lawsuits” from the pandemic. Employers who have good intentions by keeping older employees out of the workplace to protect their health are still guilty of age discrimination.

What can employers do to avoid age discrimination?

It may be fine line between making sure you don’t discriminate based on age while offering ADA accommodations. The first thing employers should do is to know what laws apply based on their location. Some states exempt employees over 65 from returning to the workplace out of safety fears, meaning that those employees can still get unemployment. Other states are cutting benefits if employees don’t return to work, regardless of age.

There are some jurisdictions that have passed legislation about which workers have the right to be recalled. Next, review your own policies and agreements with laid off and terminated employees. You may want to consult legal counsel to make sure you’re covering your bases.

As you rehire, whether you’re bringing back former employees or hiring new team members, do not make hiring decisions based on age. Keep good documentation about your decisions to terminate certain employees. If you are citing poor performance, make sure to have a record of that. Don’t terminate older employees who have bigger salaries just because of lower sales. Monitor your words (and that of your hiring team) to avoid bias in hiring and firing.

Provide accommodations or not?

According to the SHRM, “Workers age 40 and older are protected from bias by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; however, that law doesn’t require employers to make accommodations for safety concerns.”

Still, employers can provide flexibility for workers, but it largely depends on the type of job. Reaching an accommodation for an office worker will be much easier than accommodating a sanitation worker.

Employers should assume that workers aged 40 and older can return to work. When the need for help is raised by the employee, enter negotiations for accommodations. Don’t initiate the conversation, and absolutely avoid any references to age.

Know that the environment may change as the pandemic continues to affect workers.

Be thoughtful about your hiring practices moving forward to avoid costly litigation from age discrimination.

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