How can we create talent pipelines to address the current shortage?

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CIO in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
About six years ago, a number of us Bay Area CIOs recognized this dearth of security talent, so we collaborated to get a cybersecurity program started at a local community college. It took quite a bit of work to get through the bureaucracy of starting a new program, but two years later, it was in place. It's working. You'd think it would be easy to place all of these students that complete the program into jobs, but the hard part is getting them the attention of the people that actually need this talent. It seems like it's a no-brainer: we have well-trained security talent now, so let's get them into these jobs that are open. But it just hasn't been that easy.
Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
There are lots of industries we've seen these pipelines in over the last 30-40 years, like law. When there's a dearth of lawyers, everybody goes to law school; then there's too many lawyers. Same thing with doctors. If there's such a dearth of talent, and there are so many job opportunities—and we believe these jobs are well-paid, in good organizations, involving meaningful work—why aren't more people willing to do them?

Coming from an education institution that loves nothing more than training people for the pipeline, I wonder if we’re not doing a good enough job of explaining why middle schoolers and high schoolers should consider IT as a career? After everything that happened with IT security, now everybody wants to be a CISO. Maybe we're just not explaining the value proposition, or maybe they just don't want to be sitting in a cubicle, writing code all day. That's the job their parents had, it's not where they see their value.
1 1 Reply
Advisor | Investor | Former CIO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

I think that’s an important point—maybe the way that we gear higher ed towards the next generation is not as effective as it once was. It worked for us, but maybe it just doesn't work in the same manner, and maybe that's part of the problem.

Senior Director, Defense Programs in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Structure teams to include junior staff and folks with no experience while compensating them fairly. Then hire them.

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