Major skills shortage looming in cybersecurity, AI | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Reskilling in emerging fields can help those impacted by recent layoffs.

There is no doubt that the job market has shifted dramatically over the past year.

There was a 34 percent slump in venture capital funding in Canada in 2023, and according to Statistics Canada, the country shed 2,200 jobs in March of this year, with the unemployment rate rising to 6.1 percent.

More than 84,600 workers have been laid off globally in the tech sector so far this year, according to

But there may be bigger opportunities emerging as companies pivot dramatically to new priorities.

Three top jobs for tech talent this week

According to a recent report from Korn Ferry, there is a major skills crisis looming. 

“By 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people,” the report says.

If that shortage is left addressed, Korn Ferry estimates that the global financial impact could reach $8.452 trillion in unrealized annual revenue by 2030.

So what’s driving this talent shortage? 

Aileen Allkins, CEO of TeKnowledge, which specializes in digital transformation strategy, said that the key skills lacking in the workforce relate to AI and cybersecurity.

“To tackle the global cybersecurity talent shortage, organizations must adopt a proactive and strategic approach,” Allkins said. “One effective strategy is fostering partnerships with educational institutions to cultivate a continuous talent pipeline focused on cybersecurity skills.”

Managing the global talent shift

In Canada, fostering these capabilities requires effort long before employees enter the workforce. 

“There’s a pressing need for enhanced efforts in tech education at both academic institutions and within organizations to bridge the talent gap in the tech and cybersecurity fields,” Allkins noted. “Schools and universities should integrate more STEM subjects, focusing on cybersecurity and real-world tech applications, to prepare students effectively for the workforce.”

When it comes to AI, mathematics, statistics, and computer science are vital. Allkins said that 

proficiency in programming languages and an understanding of core AI concepts such as machine learning and neural networks are also essential. But technical skills are just one part of the equation—creativity and problem-solving abilities are equally important.

“A robust educational background paired with a focus on developing key competencies such as analytical problem-solving and effective communication is critical,” Allkins said. “These skills enable professionals to identify vulnerabilities and articulate security strategies clearly.”

For many seasoned tech professionals, going back to school to retrain isn’t a workable option. But many current tech workers have transferable skills that can be leveraged in emerging fields.

“Skills from areas such as network administration, software development, and system engineering provide a solid foundation for transitioning into cybersecurity,” Allkins advised. “Likewise, roles focused on data analysis and software development offer critical analytical and programming skills that are directly applicable to AI.”

If you want to see how your skills may convert now, then browse the job offering on the job board. It contains thousands of opportunities across Canada.

Canada’s top tech companies are hiring: visit the BetaKit Job Board to discover your next role.

Feature image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by Mapbox.


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