Today starts week two of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This week’s theme is “Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity.”
It’s estimated that there will be more than 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs by 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statitistics, that’s a 28% growth rate over the 10 year period from 2016 to 2026. It’s not just about coding anymore!
The most important thing we can do to help build our cybersecurity workforce is talk with our kids. Too much of our public education system is focused on coding as the only IT career path. To be clear, software development is an important and needed skill, but it’s not the only skill that our kids can pursue. It’s our obligation, as parents and professionals, to educate our kids on all of the IT career options available to them and cyberecurity is a significant area of growth and need.
There are some excellent resources available at this link to help start these conversations. Download the tip sheet on that page and share it with your kids and your schools, to help start the discussion.
Veterans make up a significant group of individuals entering the workforce who have a strong foundation in cybersecurity. Hiring veterans for careers in IT is a great way to bring highly qualified and motivated technical professionals into your company. Many university’s are now offering degrees in cybersecurity, so for college age kids or those pursuing higher education at a later age, there are more options now than ever. If you are a cybersecurity professional, think about becoming a mentor in the workplace or at local schools.
If you know kids that may be interested, have them check out the excellent CyberPatriot site where they can learn more and participate in online learning and competitions. Together, let’s build the next generation workforce of technical professionals that our country needs.