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Demand for reliable cyber security professionals is on the rise in Hong Kong after a number of high profile cases of corporate and government departments losing or disclosing personal data of clients and the public by accident.
However, not many people, not even the tech-savvy Millennials, are interested in pursuing the field.
Globally, the disinterest of young adults in cyber security careers is epidemic, especially among women, according to a new survey commissioned by technology firm Raytheon and US’s National Cyber Security Alliance.
“The shortage of talent to fill cyber security positions will likely persist since young adults around the globe are wholly uninterested in cyber security careers and the gap between the number of young men and young women in the U.S. considering a career in internet security yawns five times bigger than it did last year,” the report stated.
The annual study, Securing Our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap, indicated that the widening gender gap among young adults oriented towards cyber security may signal that young women are being shut out.
“There will be serious implications for the world’s security, safety and economic stability if we don’t figure out how to foster a cyber security workforce capable of protecting our information from increasingly harmful cyber threats,” said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business in a press release.
Despite growing demand for talent in cyber security, many young adults indicate their education and networking opportunities are not keeping pace with their needs.
Only 60% of survey respondents say a computer was introduced to their classrooms by age nine. Additionally, 62% of men and 75% of women said no secondary or high school computer classes offered the skills to help them pursue a career in cyber security.
Plus, 52% of women, compared to 39% of young men, said they felt no cyber security programs or activities were available to them.
Almost half (47%) of men also stated they are aware of the typical range of responsibilities and job tasks involved in the cyber profession, compared to only 33 % of women.
The responses were generated from a survey of 3,871 adults aged 18 to 26 from 12 countries across the globe.
“There seems to be latent interest in cyber careers, as half of young adults say believing in the mission of their employer is important and 63% say making money is important. Cyber security jobs offer both, we just need to do a better job of spreading the word.” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.