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Increasing Millennials’ Interest in Cyber Security Careers

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November 6, 2015

Cyber security is a booming field with many positions available, but Millennials seem to be largely ignorant of these opportunities. In order to stay on top of the demand for cyber security specialists, both current professionals and educational institutions have to start making an effort to open the doors of the industry to young people.The Growing Need for Cyber SecurityIt only takes a quick look at recent news to know that security breaches are running rampant. Whether it’s someone stealing credit card numbers from a large chain retailer or hackers getting grabbing confidential information from a national organization, today’s society can’t escape the fact that being technologically connected means being vulnerable. The growing use of mobile devices increases the potential for cyber security issues, and there aren’t enough professionals to handle all the potential weaknesses. Being one of the most active groups in the cyber realm means that Millennials are aware of these problems, and yet few are aware of how they can help.Informing a New GenerationIt’s not that cyber security doesn’t interest Millennials. Many of them are looking for more information about careers in the industry, but no one is giving it to them. Few guidance or career counselors bring up cyber security as an option when helping young people plan their futures. Part of the problem is that jobs in cyber security are still evolving. Given the fast pace of technological growth, what a cyber security specialist does today could change in the coming years or even the coming months. Flexibility is necessary for anyone looking to get into the industry.The best people to explain what a cyber security career entails are those who already work in the field. By getting professionals to partner with universities in creating programs and holding information sessions, the industry can bring an increased awareness of the profession to the up-and-coming workforce.Perks of Cyber SecurityAnother incentive for Millennials to look into jobs in cyber security is the potential for a long-term career with a solid pay structure. Right now, the industry is looking for people to fill the gap that exists between the need for professionals and the actual number of people qualified to work in cyber security.This is one profession that is only going to grow in terms of necessity as technology continues to evolve. A report by Burning Glass Technologies shows that the cyber security field is growing 3.5 times faster than general IT and 12 times faster than the labor sector as a whole. It’s a field that requires people with minds for technology, the ability to problem-solve on the fly and solid creative abilities. Many Millennials fit that description, especially when it comes to being tech savvy, and need only to be pointed in the right direction to earn the appropriate degree.Getting EducatedMost cyber security jobs require a bachelor’s degree, although some can be done with a high school diploma. To be effective as a cyber security specialist, Millennials need to develop good communication skills, gain business knowledge and get hands-on experience in the IT field. Knowing these prerequisites makes it easier for Millennials to decide if they want to pursue a career in cyber security; and, helps them prepare for the flexible and sometimes unpredictable industry.By putting programs in place that increase awareness of the need for cyber security professionals and provide information about what the job entails, high schools and universities can guide the Millennial generation toward careers that improve the safety of today’s highly connected society.
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