The demand for skilled cybersecurity positions is growing 12 times faster than the broader labor market and last year alone, there were nearly 210,000 open cybersecurity positions nationwide.
That’s according to new survey research from Raytheon and the National Cyber Security Alliance released in October to mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
But even as more and more millennials enter the job market, new research indicates these so-called digital natives aren’t necessarily ready to take on the mantle of cyber savior -- at least not yet.
While they’re often more tech-savvy than their older counterparts in the workforce, only about a quarter of millennials say they want a career in cybersecurity.
That’s about the same number who profess an interest in being doctors and nurses, but far fewer than the number of millennials who want to be entertainers or app developers -- cited by 35 percent of respondents.
More millennials also said they wanted to be social media directors than cyber defenders.
It turns out the Facebook generation (of which I am part) is a little fuzzy on what exactly a career in cybersecurity means.
“Almost two-thirds of millennial respondents don’t know or aren’t sure what the ‘cybersecurity’ profession is,” the report concluded.
Blame our teachers.
“Despite students’ general interest in pursuing related careers, they often lack the needed skills and encouragement educators and business leaders should provide to grow the talent pipeline,” the report stated.
Nearly half of survey respondents said their high school computer classes failed to prepare them for a career in cybersecurity or a computer science degree in college.
When asked what would increase their interest in cyber careers, 48 percent of respondents said “more information about what the jobs might entail” and 40 percent said “more relevant classes and training.”
Another factor that could spark curiosity in cyber opportunities? Twelve percent of respondents said they’d be more interested if their friends “thought it was a cool career.”