According to a recent survey by Raytheon and the NCSA, young people ages 18 to 26 aren't pursuing careers in cybersecurity. Young women - who make up just 10 percent of the industry's workforce - are even less interested in cybersecurity than their male counterparts, with 52 percent of millennial women saying cybersecurity programs aren't available to them in school. Only half of millennial men and one-third of millennial women understand what cybersecurity jobs even entail.
Why Aren't Millennials Drawn to the Industry?
The results of the survey suggest young people simply aren't getting proper information about cybersecurity in college. Meanwhile, a lack of entry-level cybersecurity jobs limits opportunities for recent graduates. It's difficult for a new grad to find a job as a network security specialist when they don't have industry experience, but it's also challenging to earn that experience when entry-level opportunities are so limited. It's a catch-22.
Cybersecurity Firms Must be More Welcoming to Entry-Level Individuals
To avoid a generation gap in cyber security consulting, companies must encourage more diversity within their organizations. Offering apprenticeships and internships can help attract young people to the industry, as can free cybersecurity tools and workshops for students. If companies want a pool of fresh talent to draw upon when their current security consultants retire, it's essential they actively offer knowledge, time and support to those who are interested in working in the information security field.
Is Your Company Looking to Hire?
Awareness of the cybersecurity generation gap is essential if your company is looking to hire or develop internal talent. Consider providing more advocacy or support for young people in your workplace. If the generation gap in cyber security consulting is allowed to continue, it could reduce the amount of overall talent in the workforce - and drive up the cost of hiring a security consultant or network security specialist with the necessary education and skills.
Mentoring the Next Generation
If you're not sure what you can do to address the cybersecurity generation gap and help millennials become more interested in the field, get in touch with Garland Heart. We can provide information about the current state of the industry and put you in touch with a young security consultant looking for an opportunity to shine.