Women And Cybersecurity Careers

cybersecurityIt is well documented that the cybersecurity field is in desperate need of more talent and one way to help fill the gap of positions to qualified candidates is by attracting students at a younger age. More and more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs are popping up in schools all over the country, but many experts believe the interest of girls drops off from STEM interest at around age 12 or 13.

How can we encourage girls to stick with their interest in technology through middle and high school that encourages them to pursue Information Security careers in their secondary educational pursuits?

In a partnership with San Jose State University, Facebook created an after-school program and specialized camps to provide support, encouragement, and an understanding of security principles needed for a cybersecurity career. According to Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, “We need more people to do this. It’s very hard to find people to hire. The need outstrips talent.”

Girls got to hear from Facebook employees who shared their experiences in cybersecurity, including Facebook Product Manager Kristy Chow. Ted Reed, a security engineer at Facebook, adds, “The younger kids are capable and interested. They just need someone to give them hands-on exposure.”

Once considering a secondary education, consider a program that offers certifications.  Network World states “Getting Certified” is the top tip for landing a cybersecurity job, adding “Security-related certifications are a prerequisite for most commercial cybersecurity jobs and all defense-related IT security jobs.” These credentials range from CompTIA Security+ to CISSP, as well as offerings from GIAC, EC-Council, and Cisco.


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