As stories in the news of digital attacks against individuals and companies are becoming a common reality, the high demand globally for cybersecurity professionals keeps growing as the threat increases. A record 79 percent of U.S. businesses reported a cybersecurity incident in the last year, and the 238,158 job postings for cybersecurity-related jobs in 2014 is an increase of 91 percent from 2010. In the U.S. alone, companies posted 49,493 jobs requiring CISSP certification last year, however, there are only 65,362 CISSP holders, the majority of whom are already employed. This talent gap has serious implications for domestic and international economics and security and must be addressed.
To shed some new light on how we should tackle this worldwide issue, Raytheon and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) commissioned Securing Our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap, a survey to understand the career interests and educational preparedness of millennials (ages 18 to 26) in 12 countries around the world. This study was fielded by Zogby Analytics, which also conducted the 2013 and 2014 surveys.
It is imperative for the national security of our country and its allies that the workforce pipeline for cybersecurity professionals be filled with a plentitude of qualified workers. This survey is intended to give insights into the root causes of the global cybersecurity talent gap.
Results from this year’s survey indicate that millennials aren’t acutely aware of cybersecurity job opportunities but they are generally interested. Schools are also not preparing young adults for these jobs, and there is a gap within the gap, with females less interested and informed about careers in cybersecurity than their male counterparts. With this knowledge and survey results, we can chart a course forward, which requires the active collaboration between business sectors, the government and our higher and lower education systems. This multifaceted approach is required if millennials and future generations are to become the sharp, aware and talented cyber defenders our societies need.
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