Security industry executives and educational leaders address the top security risks and workforce skills required in the next five years as well as the projected security talent shortage in a report released by the ASIS Foundation and University of Phoenix®, a subsidiary of Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL). The ASIS Foundation, which provides research and educational opportunities to the security management profession, and University of Phoenix recently convened a national roundtable on security industry talent development. The resulting report features key insights from security industry executives and thought leaders from higher education and government on how best to address the risks and talent deficits facing the $350 billion U.S. security industry. The current number of full-time security workers is estimated at between 1.9 and 2.1 million. Consistent with the widespread talent shortage due to skills gaps and baby boomer retirements, the need for well-qualified security professionals is expected to grow, according to roundtable participants. To help security leaders improve their talent development strategies, the report describes the key skills security professionals will need to demonstrate for career effectiveness. “Today’s security professionals must possess skills related to both physical security and technology to effectively do their jobs,” said Geoffrey T. Craighead, CPP, president, ASIS International. “These professionals may be charged with protecting physical or intellectual property, supply chain integrity, financial assets, enterprise data, and even the human capital of their organizations—duties that are complicated by mobile technologies, globalization, natural disasters, and crime.” “We see a critical skills gap in the security industry workforce that University of Phoenix can help address,” said Dr. Tim Welsh, Senior Vice President of the University of Phoenix Industry Strategy Group. “Through our collaborations with industry association partners, we can continue to develop industry-endorsed curriculum that creates successful career pathways.” “The University is working with the ASIS Foundation to establish educational programs that align security industry standards with academic certificates and degrees,” added James Ness, Dean of the University of Phoenix College of Criminal Justice and Security.