WORKING IN partnership with the UK Cyber Security Council, the Security Awareness Special Interest Group (SASIG) recently brought together hundreds of future cyber security professionals with leading employers in the sector at the third SASIG Cyber Security Skills Festival. The virtual festival showcased the challenges, opportunities and rewards available from a career in cyber security.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport recently revealed that employment across the cyber security industry rose by 13% during 2021, with more than 6,000 new jobs created, in turn opening up a raft of opportunities for individuals up and down the UK. This growth has witnessed the total number of people working in cyber in the UK rise to 52,700.
The SASIG Cyber Security Skills Festival attracted more than 600 delegates and featured an entire day of presentations and workshops. The jobs fair ran alongside the main event and hosted 37 organisations from all sectors, among them 73 UK universities and public bodies. The day engendered 865 conversations and realised 4,618 chat messages.
Delegates learned about building a successful career from both seasoned professionals and recent graduates. In addition, over 1,000 job applications were submitted at the jobs fair and helped fill vacancies being advertised by firms hungry to find new talent.
Martin Smith MBE, founder and chairman of SASIG (and who began his cyber security career with the Royal Air Force back in 1981), has reiterated the fact that the Cyber Security Skills Festival’s key objective was to boost the profile of cyber security as a rewarding career and attract new entrants.
Smith explained: “Cyber security is every bit as much a ‘people’ business as it is one necessarily focused on technology. It embraces management, people and technical skills and, as demand grows, there are huge opportunities. This year, we made a strategic move to reach out beyond our traditional cyber security community and seek to attract new entrants from all areas. Whether you’re a historian, a musician or an engineer, there are opportunities at all levels. We want to help our community bridge the skills gap.”