The State of Israel Needs Cyberists

The worsening shortage of high-tech workers on the one hand and the increasingly growing economic and security cyber threats on the other hand require a national plan to promote technological studies, underscoring computer science studies and cyberattack protection/ Prof. Shlomo Greenberg, head of the Computer Science Department

Technological development brings with it myriad threats and dangers. Data Privacy Day that is celebrated at the end of January is an excellent opportunity to examine the significantly changed reality. Now more than ever, cyber threats constitute a growing component of our national resilience – no less than the Iranian nuclear threat. Now more than ever, the State of Israel needs Israeli cyberists – skilled and principled workers, with an academic education and professional practical training in one of the most developing fields in the high tech world.

Data security and cyber is a popular field and of great importance in an era in which vast amounts of data stored on computers connected to the internet and to the cloud are exposed to cyberattacks by hostile entities. The data security world deals in and is busy protecting, detecting and preventing cyberattacks, the theft of confidential digital data and privacy infiltration.

Concurrently, the State of Israel faces a constant shortage of thousands of software and data security workers each year, and the overall demand for skilled computer science graduates with training in the cyber field only continues to grow.

The vast majority of high tech workers in Israel are currently concentrated in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area. Most of them grew up in economically well-established cities and neighborhoods. A response to the country’s future needs, both economic and security, requires the integration of additional population groups.

A comprehensive national plan therefore needed, which will encourage additional population groups in Israeli society to acquire technological education and will also integrate them into the Israeli high tech world, underscoring the key field of data security. The Education Ministry together with the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology must promote such a plan, while the Finance Ministry must budget it properly.

The Council for Higher Education in Israel (CHE) recently took a welcome and important step, approving the opening of a Computer Science department at the SCE - Sami Shamoon College of Engineering. The program includes a unique Cyber Studies track that trains students to detect and assess cyber risks and specialize in data security and communication networks. There is a clear trend among organizations of massive investment in resources for the protection and security of data systems, as well as growing demand for cyber specialists. Program graduates will find employment as cyber and software security specialists in industry and academia as well as in the public and private sectors.

Technological education, which offers the ability to earn a good livelihood, is also the key to equal opportunity and to narrowing social gaps.

Significantly increased demand for quality graduates is expected following the move of the IDF Communications and Information Services Corps and Intelligence Directorate units to the south. The SCE program will be able to contribute to meeting the demand and to the accelerated development of the south and of Be’er Sheva as a metropolitan of knowledge rich centers, of both advanced high tech industries and computer research centers.

New cyberists can look forward to quick integration into the employment market in desired places and positions, with high salaries and very generous employment benefits, and above all else – knowing that they play a vital role and make a huge contribution to the economic growth and the security of the State of Israel.