Impacting a broad cross-section of organizations, the cybersecurity skills gap continues to have a stranglehold on businesses and individuals alike. It shows no signs of slowing down either, with a study conducted by (ISC)� noting that 4.07 million workers would need to be added to the 2.8 million currently in the field globally just to close the gap.
Further, as more organizations shift to a permanent remote work model, the problem has only grown in severity. By forcing workers who are already overwhelmed and under-resourced to pick up the slack, this shortage of skilled security professionals creates additional risk for organizations. So, what can be done to address this issue?
Don't underestimate the value of security certifications
A recent report by Fortinet found that 82 percent of organizations prefer to hire candidates with certifications, as this tends to validate cybersecurity skills and knowledge. Because of this validation of expertise in various security-related concepts, organizations can feel confident in certified individuals' ability to perform their duties well.
Considering the rapid rate at which the cybersecurity field is changing, specific knowledge and skills acquired during collegiate studies often become outdated after a few short years. By building on this level of education through security certifications, individuals can keep their skills current and gain new skills and knowledge each time they renew their certifications.
In addition to validating the knowledge and skills of security professionals, certifications can also be beneficial for skills development. Indeed, getting a certification can open up new career pathways to IT workers who did not initially plan for a career in cybersecurity, and even to those with no prior IT training.
When combined with high-quality training and education programs, certifications can provide an easy transition for many skilled workers into a cybersecurity career. This can significantly expand the pool of potential job candidates compared to relying solely on traditional sources such as academic degree programs.
Placing more emphasis on certifications can enable hiring managers to engage with an expanded talent pool, one that exemplifies a desire for lifelong learning. In a field that changes as quickly as the cybersecurity field, lifelong learning is critical and this is precisely the reason Fortinet now offers free training through its NSE Training Institute for students, job seekers, and those who are looking to develop new skills, reskill, or upskill.
Fortinet offers free self-paced advanced training courses
To help address the rapidly evolving needs of today's highly distributed and remote workforces, Fortinet has made its entire catalog of self-paced security training courses available free of charge to anyone interested in learning new skills. Offerings range from Secure SD-WAN to public cloud security, among others.
These NSE Training Institute courses provide participants with an independent validation of their network security skills and experience, enabling them to gain new knowledge or improve upon existing skillsets. And eliminating the cost of training removes a significant roadblock for many who are seeking certification.
The curriculum of the NSE Training Institute's certification program features more than 24 advanced security courses to help IT professionals expand their knowledge so that they can address new risks. By participating in these training courses, offered through Fortinet's eight-level certification program, individuals can start on the path to receiving technology-focused certifications.
As the cybersecurity skills gap grows, certifications continue to play an important role in the hiring of security and IT professionals. To help anyone get started on a path toward receiving cybersecurity certifications, Fortinet now offers free training for anyone interested in expanding their skillset and demonstrating their expertise in certain areas of cybersecurity.
By completing these NSE Training Institute courses, participants will not only demonstrate a willingness to learn but also validate their knowledge and skills to employers looking to fill critical security roles.