Cyber technology could be a catalyst to equality in the labor market. Its power is seeded in the ability of everyone to gain skills without social entry barriers. To succeed in the cyber labor market, one has to have curiosity, creativity and the Patience to learn a computer language. In contrast to other skills, one can study everything from books or from the Internet. To be a hacker, Programmer, or any other profession in the ICT / Cyber labor market, one has to be an autodidact with passion.
The freedom to gain a skill can give any men or women the equal chance of social mobility in the cyber labor market, is due to the principles the cyber domain is based on – openness, information sharing and a liberal view that everyone can.
Sadly, a look at the labor market at countries that have a developed cyber industry, such as Israel, will reveal the opposite. I will discuss the Israeli cyber market, but my argument is true for any other such as a country.
In Israel, there is an advanced cyber security industry, based mostly on veterans from two intelligence units. When I say, “cyber security industry” I refer to entrepreneurs who drive the startup scene, or in its other name – Startup nation. In fact, in the Israeli cyber labor market, there is a new guild – the cyber guild. And this guild is composed of Those veterans who are the human infrastructure behind this industry. And it’s not theirs to blame.
The Israeli cyber industry is based on the army. It’s not secret. And in the army, the intelligence units use the most advanced technology they can find or develop. The reason for that is lying in the pursuit of knowledge. If you want to be ahead of your enemy, you have to know his moves. And if you master the knowledge gathering process, fusion process and distribution process, you have the skills for the cyber labor market. With abstraction, it can be said that cyber defense or offense, is a game of knowledge.
After the veterans go to the civil market, they make a spin-off to the technologies they exposedto in their units. And there you have it – young people, fearless, with expertise they got in the army funding hundreds of startups that makes the industry monotonous, controlled by those people. That’s the guild. And as one, it maintains itself. Friend brings a friend. Although recently, there has been a shift because of a shortage of skilled workers, it hasn’t changed the core diversity in the cyber labor market.
As mentioned before, the problem isn’t with the guild, but in the system that created it. If the system changes, the guild will dismantle. And the system is the government that regulates the labor market. Instead of encouraging the distortion in the cyber labor market, the government, through the education system and the army, has to establish a more ‘fair’ distribution system of cyber skills in the population, regardless of their military service. In this way, the distortion in the cyber labor market Will be reduced.
To summarize, the cyber era is a great opportunity for governments around the world to create a better society by reducing the inequality in the labor market. Most of the skills needed for jobs in the cyber labor market can be gained freely by old or young people. It’s true that not everybody will like to work as a programmer, hacker or IT staff, but the door should be open by default to those who want. And the responsibility for it lies with the government.
Ami isAn Israeli-based writer, tech corresponded of the Israel Defense magazine. Covers the Israeli cyber industry, defense industries and the ICT scene. Passions include futuristic technologies, science and geopolitical aspect of technology. MA in political science with thesis in Cyber deterrence.
Written by Ami Rojkes Dombe
Edited by Pierluigi Paganini
(Security Affairs – Cyber security, Israel)