Youth interest in IT security careers grows but schools letting them down: survey

One in four young adults is interested in a career in cybersecurity, a new survey has found, but two-thirds said their high schools weren't providing appropriate teaching to foster their entry into a market that is growing 3.5 faster than the overall IT job market.

The Millennials Cyber Survey, commissioned by Raytheon in conjunction with the US-based National Cyber Security Alliance, found that 41 percent of millennials had received advice about IT security related careers over the previous year, compared with just 18 percent in the survey a year earlier.

Nearly 40 percent of the survey respondents said they were more interested today in careers that “involve making the Internet safer and more secure”. Asked what career they would like to have, 35 percent of surveyed millennials said they were interested in being an app designer or developer – the most popular career – while 26 percent said they would like to be a cybersecurity professional.

This was the same percentage that said they would like to have a career as a doctor, nurse, or lawyer.

While they have broad interest in the idea of cybersecurity careers, however, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they don't know what is involved in the profession. And fully 64 percent said their school had not offered the appropriate teaching or exposure to cybersecurity concepts that would be necessary to lay the groundwork for such a career.

“This study shows that despite the fact that more students are generally interested in pursuing related careers, they often lack the needed skills and encouragement that our educators should be providing to grow the talent pipeline,” Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business, said in a statement.

“There is a clear opportunity to help close the gap between the demand and supply for cyber security talent with more counselling, training, and collaboration between our high school educators and the private sector.”

The survey also asked respondents what sort of information would increase their interest in cybersecurity, with more information about the job named by 48 percent of respondents. Fully 40 percent said they would be interested in more relevant classes or training to see if they would be good at a cybersecurity career, while 34 percent wanted reassurances that they would earn a good living.

Some 29 percent would welcome the opportunity to speak with current professionals about the pros and cons of the career, while 12 percent said they would be influenced by whether their friends thought cybersecurity was a “cool” career.

Conducted by Zogby Analytics in late August, the surveyinvolved 1000 US adults aged 18 to 26.

The results reflect the growing gap between supply and demand in the IT security market, which a recent study by analytics firm Burning Glass International found is growing 12 times faster than the overall job market and 3.5 times faster than the IT job market.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybersecuritydirectors for CSO Australia|Millennials Cyber SurveyIT SecurityCSOZogby AnalyticsIT ResourcesraytheonEnex TestLabRaytheon’s IntelligenceBurning Glass InternationalNational Cyber Security AllianceIT job marketCSO AustraliaJack HarringtonIT in schools

More about CSOEnex TestLab

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place