Develop skilled workforce and attract/retain talent: key for MSSPs/MSPs!

December 23, 2023
2 mins read

Key Points:

  • The cybersecurity industry faces a shortage of qualified professionals to fill open positions.
  • Paying high wages for top talent is not a sustainable business model for most MSSPs and MSPs.

One solution is to “grow your own talent” by partnering with educational institutions to offer cybersecurity programs. This can provide hands-on experience to students and help build a skilled workforce.

Another solution is to take advantage of cybersecurity training and education initiatives offered by vendors. These programs provide access to technology, curriculum, and experts in the cybersecurity field.

Other resources for cybersecurity training and upskilling include nonprofit and governmental organizations, such as CISA and the SANS Institute.

Overall, developing a skilled workforce and attracting and retaining talent in the cybersecurity industry requires out-of-the-box thinking and a focus on training and mentorship.

How MSSPs and MSPs Can Develop a Skilled Workforce and Attract and Retain Talent

Your MSSP or MSP is growing. You have funding, resources, and people dedicated to your organization’s mission. But the thought that wakes you up in the middle of the night is how to find qualified professionals to fill the open and future technology roles you will need if your business is to grow and prosper. You know all too well that there are many more cybersecurity jobs open than there are qualified people to fill them.

Truly, cybersecurity is a hands-on science. So, where will this educated and experienced workforce come from, if not from within? For some MSSPs and MSPs, paying the highest wages for top talent might be their only strategy. But for most it’s not a sustainable business model — and certainly not a realistic option for a start-up or organization that focuses on small and medium-sized business (SMB) clientele.

Here’s the short answer: Grow your own talent. Form partnerships with educational institutions and organizations that will help win the war for talent and build long-term loyalty within your workforce.

Become Your Own “University”

Many high schools, colleges, and universities wish they could add cybersecurity programs to their curriculum. Consider partnering with your local community college, college, or university to offer your input or provide hands-on experience to students in the program. This can help bridge the gap between theory and practice and provide students with valuable real-world experience.

Consider Alternatives to Four-Year-Degree College Graduates

Some organizations are offering alternative paths to a cybersecurity degree. American Public University System (APUS) recently announced an accelerated bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity, in connection with the College in 3 Exchange. This program allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of the traditional four.

Take Advantage of Cybersecurity Training and Education Initiatives from Vendors

Many cybersecurity vendors offer training and education programs to help develop a skilled workforce. For example, Stellar Cyber has launched its own cyber education initiative, which provides access to cybersecurity technology, curriculum, and experts. Blackpoint Cyber also offers cybersecurity education through its Blackpoint University program.

Consider Other Security Training Resources

In addition to vendor programs, there are many nonprofit and governmental organizations that offer cybersecurity training and upskilling. Some examples include CISA, EC-Council, SANS Institute, Coursera, CompTIA, Google, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

Overall, developing a skilled workforce and attracting and retaining talent in the cybersecurity industry requires out-of-the-box thinking and a focus on training and mentorship. By partnering with educational institutions, taking advantage of vendor programs, and leveraging other training resources, MSSPs and MSPs can build a talented and capable workforce to support their growing businesses.

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