Op-Ed: The Time Is Now to Prevent a Cybersecurity Workforce Crisis

June 8, 2016

David Wajsgras

From our smartphones to highly classified networks, there is a global need for talent to build, secure and improve our cyberspace. As worldwide cyberthreats become more sophisticated, global security increasingly will depend on the successful nurturing of our youth to develop an interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering and math – the subjects collectively known as STEM.

There are some promising trends. The latest U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index showed that high school students' interest in technology and engineering grew slightly over the past year. To meet the current and future security challenges, however, more young people must see cybersecurity as a worthwhile career option.

Current estimates mark the talent shortfall at 1 million professionals. A recent study by the National Cyber Security Alliance, with support from Raytheon, explored the talent shortfall in the global cybersecurity industry and found that a fundamental problem was the lack of even a basic awareness of potential opportunities in the field. Most millennials learn about careers during their formative high school years and, unfortunately, most students do not receive an introduction or any insight on how to pursue a cyber career. Most haven't met or spoken with a practicing cybersecurity professional.

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