The cybersecurity talent shortage is frequently talked about. Even with the attention, the future still holds more job openings than qualified employees available to fill them. According to (ISC)2, the talent shortage is expected to reach 1.8 million unfilled roles by 2020. This is fueled by recruiting requirements looking for years of experience combined, complex technical skills and a multitude of certifications. With limited educational opportunities and exposure to cybersecurity, the lack of qualified job candidates will persist.

What’s the solution?

In an effort to better understand the problem we returned to the survey responses of 524 technology-savvy millennials and post-millennials in the US, conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), to see if there were potential answers to the security skills shortage. Respondents clearly identified some of the challenges the security industry will face and must conquer, if there is any hope of turning the tide.

Interestingly, the results suggest that not only are millennials and post-millennials the key to solving the current and pending skill shortage, but young females show tendencies that make them well suited to become part of the solution.

The millennial opportunity

Looking at the responses, we find that younger generations understand and acknowledge that technology and computing are likely to play a significant role in their future careers, with 68 percent of respondents classifying themselves as either technology innovators (27 percent) or early adopters of technology (41 percent). Fortunately, the generations that grew up with iPhone’s and iPad’s may have a leg up on the older generations in acclimating to tomorrow’s job-related technology demands.

However, only four males and none of the females report that they are currently working in cybersecurity. Only nine percent of males and seven percent of females said that they are interested in the field, citing a general lack of awareness (39 percent) or fear of technical expertise (15 percent) as barriers.

This data suggests that if we begin to introduce more classes and make the cybersecurity profession more appealing to these younger generations, we could potentially capture this untapped market of technology-savvy men and women to close the skills gap and turn the table on cybercriminals of the future.

Source: Help Net Security