Arguably, companies are more ready than ever to invest in cybersecurity, but they are running into a serious problem—a lack of talent.
“We don’t have enough expertise in the right places now,” said Peter W. Singer, co-author of a recent book “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar” told UPI. “We often frame cybersecurity as a technology problem. It is a human problem.”
Unfortunately, the problem is only getting bigger; the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the demand for information security analysts will increase by 37 percent between 2012 and 2022 and some speculate that it is the problem that will bring America to its digital knees.
Addressing the talent shortage
Ultimately, the cybersecurity talent shortage will need to be addressed by the government with programs and incentives if we truly want to keep up other countries, but for now, there are things we can do to attract new talent.
A lack of knowledge is leading to a lack of interest. Many educators and guidance counselors don’t know enough about cybersecurity and information security to talk to students about it as a career choice. Whether it’s with your company or on your own, provide your local schools with information and resources to give to students.
According to the 2014 Raytheon-National Cybersecurity Alliance Millennial Survey, 48 percent of Millennials said they’d be more likely to choose the field if they had information on what specific jobs within cybersecurity entailed. Why not organize an event at your local school where several industry professionals come in and talk about their work?
Host an Hour of Code
Hands-on learning is one of the best ways to engage students. Hour of Code is a grassroots program that offers a one-hour introduction to computer science and is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. The program’s website has everything you need to host an Hour of Code at a local school or organization.
While all the advice above addresses getting youth interested in cybersecurity, don’t forget to spread the cybersecurity love with working adults, as well. Many working adults consider career changes and cybersecurity is a great career choice in terms of salary, benefits and growth opportunities. Talk to someone about cybersecurity today; our industry depends on it.