Fill widening cyber skills gap with highly-skilled ex-military cyber warriors

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2023 by Faye CoppNo comments

With their sharp decision-making skills, security mindsets, risk and crisis management experience and cross functional ‘soft skills’ , ex-military personnel are well-matched to fill roles in the cyber industry and help close a widening skills gap.

A pioneering programme that attracts, selects, trains and places talent from the Armed Forces into employment in cyber jobs, aims to develop new ways to help employers access new talent pools and fill their skills gaps - and to remove some of the barriers facing people from the military community.

SaluteMyJob has teamed up with Abertay University and the Scottish Cyber and Fraud Centre to deliver an ‘Ethical Hacking’ pathway, part of SaluteMyJob’s innovative Cyber Jumpstart programme. This course is part of the new nationwide Click Start training programme developed by the Institute of Coding (IoC), funded by Nominet. This is designed to support members of the Armed Forces community on their journey towards a promising and exciting career in roles where employers face a significant skills shortage.

Currently, there are 50+ members of the Armed Forces community taking part in the ‘Pen Testing’ Pathway course due to graduate this month (June), with more applicants waiting for future Pathways courses, keen to learn new skills to springboard them into their new careers.  SaluteMyJob is proving that demand is high for programmes such as these, helping people from the military community into employment in cyber jobs with our biggest cohorts to date.

Having acquired the sought-after skills through the training, the biggest barrier faced by this unique talent pool is practical and commercial experience. To overcome this, from summer 2023 onwards, the social enterprise is looking for employer partners to provide paid work placement opportunities and entry level employment opportunities. 

“We need the help of companies, large and small, to provide these placement opportunities for the Pathways graduates and help them overcome this substantial obstacle, on their way to an exciting new career filled with possibilities,’ said SaluteMyJob MD, Andrew Jackson “We provide the skills if you can provide paid work placements to fill the experience gap.”

Joe Coulter served in the Army Reserves for 23-years, retiring as a Warrant Officer Class 2, from the 253 Medical Regiment based in Belfast, in May, 2017. He is currently on the ‘Pen Testing’ Pathway course, hoping to pursue a career in the same field, and believes ex-military personnel are well-equipped to fill a huge number of cyber roles. “Many of the skills attained or honed in the military are transferable into the cybersecurity arena, the use of standard procedures and methodologies used is akin to the military drills that we are all used to,” Joe said. “The cybersecurity environment fits well with the military environment. I believe that a veteran would fit in well and quickly into a cybersecurity environment.”

As well as the Pen Testing Course, SaluteMyJob, alongside IBM’s Skillsbuild platform, provides a number of dedicated training pathways to the Armed Forces Community, you can find out more here and if you would like to provide work placements for any of our pathways - we’d love to hear from you. And if you want to hear more about the most recent candidates, including veteran reservist Joe, get in touch with Managing Director, Andrew Jackson, at today.

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