A truly innovative approach to hiring involves looking beyond academic pedigree, instead focusing on a candidate’s skills, potential, and passion for cybersecurity. Expanding the talent pool to individuals who may be unemployed, under-employed, or looking for a career change helps to ensure diversity of thought, essential for building cyber resilience.
Shelby highlights that there are many different careers that share transferable skills, including military experience, engineering, and professions that require pattern recognition. According to Shelby, “traits and aptitudes including curiosity, analytical thinking, problem solving, perseverance, troubleshooting, self-directed research, and a mission focused mindset are often overlooked as success indicators and aren’t easy to identify via an exam or CV.” She further explains that these traits, combined with a broad variety of backgrounds and access to learn cyber skills, are a great recipe to create strong cyber talent. These characteristics make cybersecurity a great career for people from all backgrounds, including diversity across gender, ethnicity, geography, neurodiversity, socioeconomic class, and beyond.
By eliminating traditional barriers to entry, organizations can open doors for underrepresented groups. For Shelby, this approach not only fosters a more inclusive work environment, it also boosts innovation and helps address the industry’s diversity deficit. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, in 2022 women represented just 25% of the workforce globally, with individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds representing even less.