Cyber Security as a Millennial
Are you a student looking for a rewarding area of study? Are you a recent college graduate with a totally different degree than IT/Cyber security? Are you just looking for a fresh job with progressive growth rates? If you answered “yes” to at least one of these, you should pursue a career in Cyber security.
Cyber security is currently one of the hottest industries, with technology being the fabric of our everyday lives starting from a younger and younger age. When I was in school Cyber security was never on my 'radar'. However, today, there are high schools and Universities implementing Cyber security and IT classes into their curriculum. Many colleges offer a Cyber security majors (if not minors), like the University of Maryland. Even the Girl Scouts will be able to earn a Cyber security badge come this Fall!
It's more apparent with each passing day that the industry is on a progressive track. As our digital dependence grows, it is easy to see how the cybercrime epidemic generates a need for Cyber security professionals. Millennials are the 'tech-savvy' ones, so it makes the most sense that they would take over the industry.
Here are a few shocking statistics:
- According to Global Information Security Workforce, only 7% of cyber security workers surveyed were under age 29, and 13% were between ages 30 and 34. The average age of cyber professionals is 42.
- ISACA, a non-profit information security advocacy group, expects there will be a global shortage of two million Cyber security professionals by 2019. Every year 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other Cyber security related roles, according to CyberSeek.
- For every 10 Cyber security job ads that appear on careers sites, like Indeed, only seven people click on one of the ads, let alone apply.
The wide employment gap could mean an influx of a millennial workforce. Having a “fresh face” associated with Cyber security may help even out the gender skew. As of 2015, women held only one in 10 computer security positions. As women make up more than half the population, and almost half of the current workforce, the industry could be failing to reach skilled IT and Cyber security professionals.
Millennials will pursue this career if institutions continue to educate and bring awareness to all aspects of Cyber Security. They must convey that no matter your background, it is a diverse and lucrative career to have. Personally, I do not have a background in either Cyber security/ IT and this industry infatuates me every day.
- According to Global Information Security Workforce, 87% of Cyber security workers globally started working in another career, many of which were not IT related.
- “In order to fill the worker shortage, current methods of hiring and recruiting must be modified to keep pace with the fluctuating workforce, and this means exploring non-traditional channels of recruitment, the Global Information Security Workforce Study stated. Current practice creates barriers to entry that both limits the breadth of expertise attracted to the profession, and the ability to address the skills gap itself.”
That all being said, get some credentials to get your feet wet! A great place to start is with the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certification. CompTIA is the world’s leading tech association and their role has become increasingly significant considering that one-third of cyber security jobs require industry certifications.
These certifications can help existing IT professionals get a leg up in this increasingly growing field, especially if you consider that thousands of IT jobs being posted require some form of training certification. Just remember, there are more jobs out there than qualified people to fill them. Start your certification today!
If you're interested in more info, take a look at the Top 5 Highest Paying Cyber Security Certifications for 2017.