IT Security Pros Needed, but Teens Are Not Encouraged to Follow This Career Path

Only a few teachers and counselors have told students about such a career

By on October 18th, 2013 09:30 GMT

The US is well aware of the importance of an efficient cyber defense, but the country needs a lot more cybersecurity professionals than it currently has. On the other hand, a recent study has found that high school teachers or guidance counselors rarely encourage students to follow this career path.

A study conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of Raytheon has found that 82% of the US millennial generation has not been told about a potential career in IT security. Furthermore, less than 25% of those aged between 18 and 26 think this type of career is interesting at all.

The survey has also found that young men are far more interested in such a career than young women.

“Given that we need to add thousands of cybersecurity professionals to the workforce in the coming years, the data shows we have a long way to go in engaging young people in the idea of a career path in cybersecurity,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

“We have to work together to ensure that young people are prepared to use technology safely, securely, ethically and productively and are aware of the interesting and rewarding jobs available protecting the Internet.”

While 30% of the respondents admitted meeting someone online who gave them a fake photo or false information about themselves, most youths are not overly concerned about online threats. 75% say they’re comfortable with the information their friends post about them online, and 26% claim they’ve never changed their mobile banking password.

As far as best security practices are concerned, 82% of respondents have set a password on their desktop computer and laptop. On the other hand, only 61% have done the same on their phone. 37% of millennials had backed up their data in the past month.

“Today's millennials are tomorrow's leaders and their embrace of technology will continue to drive our economy forward,” said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business.

“This survey shows the gaps that exist in teaching personal online security to our youth and in our efforts to inspire the next generation of innovators.”
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