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Millennials, Women, and Cybersecurity

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Would anyone argue that cybersecurity is one of the most profound threats facing the world today?

The large scale data breaches of the past few years, including Target, Home Depot, and Chase are well publicized and documented but the fact of the matter is that in PwC’s 2015 State of US Cybercrime Survey, a record 79% of companies said they detected a security incident in the past 12 months.  Many incidents go undetected, so that number is likely much higher.

There are other forces driving the rise of cybersecurity as a rising profession, including worker demand that is outpacing supply.  Job postings for cybersecurity openings have grown three times as fast as openings for IT jobs overall and it takes companies longer to fill these positions.

The fastest increases for cybersecurity workers are in industries managing increasing volumes of consumer data such as Finance (+137% over the last five years), Health Care (+121%) and Retail Trade (+89%).  With this kind of staggering job growth and availability, why is it so difficult to fill positions?

The answer may lie with millennials and women.

According to a survey released last week of nearly 4,000 18-26 year olds from 12 countries commissioned by Raytheon and the National Cybersecurity Alliance, there are significant awareness and opportunity issues as it relates to encouraging students towards the pursuit of the field of study.

In the United States, 67 percent of men and 77 percent of women said no high school or secondary school teacher, guidance, or career counselor ever mentioned the idea of a cybersecurity career.

Globally, 62 percent of men and 75 percent of women said no secondary or high school computer classes offered the skills to help them pursue a career in cybersecurity.

Globally, 47 percent of men say that they are aware of the typical range of responsibilities and job tasks involved in the cyber profession, compared to only 33 percent of women.

Globally, 52 percent of women, compared to 39 percent of young men, said they felt no cybersecurity programs or activities were available to them.

“Not only are we missing obvious opportunity to remediate a global shortfall of cybersecurity workers, but we’re also seeing the problem compounded by leaving women behind when it comes to cybersecurity education, programs and careers,” said Valecia Maclin, program director of cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon. “It’s critical that public and private partnerships focus on encouraging young girls to foster an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, so that more women are prepared to enter this burgeoning field and help create a diverse, talented workforce.”

Cybersecurity employers demand a highly educated, highly experienced workforce and certifications are required 12% more often in cybersecurity compared to the requirement for Information Technology openings overall.

While there is widespread opportunity in cybersecurity, the skills gap will only be filled with increased awareness at the high school and secondary level, as well as a narrowing of the gender gap.

Carolina Career College offers cybersecurity certification training and career placement services.  Call 919-336-1000 or fill out this form to schedule your tour.

 

 

 

 

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