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With the shortage of cybersecurity professionals, schools are rewiring their curriculum

Cybersecurity jobs are growing in demand. Source: Shutterstock

Across the primary and secondary school spectrum, security and safety issues are often raised in regards to students roaming the internet.

From crafty hackers to privacy infiltrators, cybersecurity has naturally evolved into an integral teacher talking point.

To counteract concerns, many cyber professionals have been invited to host informative workshops to equip and protect students with the security tools and techniques they require.

Despite being advised to inform teachers and parents about suspicious activity online, to alter their privacy options and keep ad-blocking technologies on, there are still security breaches happening to student’s laptops, phones and other digital devices.

With workshops and information sessions only reaching so far, teachers have opted for alternative ways to alter their curriculum.

The shortage of cybersecurity professionals

Every year, the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) conducts a wide-ranging global report, asking IT professionals in the US about the challenges they face and the strategies they admire.

Most importantly, the participants of the ESG survey are requested to name areas where their organisation has a problematic shortage of skills.

“In 2018-2019, cybersecurity skills topped the list – 53% of survey respondents reported a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills at their organisation. IT architecture/planning skills came in second at 38%,” ESG reveals.

Outlining the results of their last four surveys, it’s easy to see that this has been a longstanding issue:

  • 2018-2019: 53 percent of organisations report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.
  • 2017-2018: 51 percent of organisations report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.
  • 2016-2017: 45 percent of organisations report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.
  • 2015-2016: 42 percent of organisations report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.

Acknowledging the rising shortage of cybersecurity professionals, schools are supplementing their curricula with IT-based activities and modules that prepare students for future tech roles.

Transforming the school curriculum with tech-based knowledge

“As more and more schools are implementing cybersecurity training programmes, the role of IT leaders in the K-12 environment is changing from a technology focus to a more strategic focus on the enablement of digital learning and digital transformation,” notes eSchool News.

Evolving from teachers to IT technicians, data-rich schools are on the rise.

By equipping young minds with the modules needed to address this shortage, and other shortages with a technological basis, they leave school ready to take on a digitised world.

Recalculating the curriculum and blending traditional with technical also caters to a vast range of learners in the classroom.

And diversifying the topics and keeping an open mind means teachers will upskill and ready themselves for teaching in a data-rich environment.

So, with more teachers switching outdated IT concepts for new cybersecurity concepts, perhaps ESG’s annual survey will work in favour of cybersecurity demands in the near future!

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