US Election Hacks and Attacks Are Leading Millennials to Cyber-Careers

US Election Hacks and Attacks Are Leading Millennials to Cyber-Careers

This US presidential election cycle has been fraught with cyber-attacks, hacks and a growing awareness of Russian espionage activities. But the good news is that all the hub-bub has resulted in more young adults interested in a career in cybersecurity.

According to a survey commissioned by Raytheon and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the number of US millennials who say they have read or heard a news account of cyberattacks within the last year nearly doubled from 36% in 2015 to 64% in 2016. And in tandem with that, 34% of them are more likely than a year ago to consider a career to make the Internet safer, compared to 26% a year ago.

Millennials are also paying attention to cybersecurity as a campaign issue. About half (53%) of young adults in the US say a political candidate's position on cybersecurity impacts their level of support for that candidate, including 60% of men and 47% of women. Also, 50% of them don't think cybersecurity has been a big enough part of the discussion leading up to the presidential election.

"Millennials see hacktivists breaking into computer systems and threatening our economy," said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. "If we can show young men and women a clear path to careers in cybersecurity, we can make real progress in eliminating the serious cyber-talent shortage and making our country more secure."

The report also took a look at preparedness for cyber-careers. It found that globally, 59% of men, up from 43% in 2015, reported receiving formal cyber-safety lessons, compared to 51% of women, an increase from 40% a year ago. Also, 54% of young men, up from 46% in 2015, said they were aware of the job tasks involved in the cybersecurity profession, compared to just 36% of young women, an increase from 33% last year.

"When it comes to guidance for pursuing cybersecurity careers, young adults say parents are the most influential figure in shaping their career choices, but most millennials don't believe their parents are prepared to help them pursue a career in cybersecurity," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "As parents, leaders and educators, we need to better communicate the opportunities in the cybersecurity field and help guide students to them."

Photo © LeoWolfert

Source: Information Security Magazine