Leaving Cert offers bring good news for the cybersecurity sector as demand for third-level computer science courses increases.
According to Aoife Stokes, head of HR at BSI Ireland, the need for computer science professionals is more urgent now than ever before. Continuous advances in the technologies that we increasingly rely on in the workplace mean that we need experts who specialise in keeping our data out of harm’s way.
The good news for companies in the industry is that this year’s third-level applications saw a rise in demand for computer science. Applications to STEM courses saw strong growth in general, which Stokes attributed to increased interest for careers in the field. With computer science set to become an official Leaving Cert subject next year, there’s a good chance that the future of cybersecurity is in good hands.
“The rise in points for computer science is a positive one for our industry and will go towards meeting the supply shortage for qualified professionals. As a course, computer science is a very rewarding one for students and it brings many excellent job opportunities with it,” Stokes said.
“There is a clear demand for talent in the sector at present and for the future, and we need the talent to fill positions. The global cybersecurity sector is experiencing zero per cent unemployment at present, and by 2021 it is predicted that there will be 3.5m roles unfilled,” she added, citing research from Cybersecurity Ventures.
“We seek qualified candidates across a wide range of positions from ethical hackers, to cybersecurity senior consultants, security testing professionals, and eDiscovery and forensic consultants in the global markets that we operate in.”
Looking ahead, Stokes said that the Government, as well as those in education and industry, need to increase their level of commitment in providing “as much information as possible to students around STEM subjects and what they offer as a career”.
“Next year will see the first group of students taking the newly introduced computer science subject for the Leaving Certificate and I look forward to seeing how the students engage with it,” she added.