Parental knowledge of cyber security jobs holding children back

New research from global cyber security training services provider, SANS Institute, has revealed that even though IT remains one of the top choices of career that parents would make for their children, parents have very little idea about the lucrative area of cyber security. This is severely exacerbating the skills gap in cyber security that the UK is currently facing – with industry not doing enough to promote itself.

The findings reveal that 63% of parents in the UK would either not be able to answer questions on how to get a job in the cyber security industry or just didn’t know if they would be able to; 61% report they are not very aware or not aware at all of any career opportunities.

With the industry crying out for new blood and professionals to address the 51% of UK businesses and charities that have a basic cyber security skills gap, educating and incentivising school children to take up a career in cyber security is crucial to the survival of the industry and, even more critically, the security of the nation online.

Parliament Street debate: Is the UK’s cyber security industry pulling its weight?

At a recent debate, Cyber Crime: The next threat?, hosted by the think-tank Parliament Street, leaders from the UK’s cyber security industry hashed out what the industry could be doing to fight cybercrime more efficiently

“These findings should be seen as a wakeup call to the cyber security industry that it needs to do more to promote itself,” said James Lyne, CTO SANS Institute. “We need to ensure that the 72% of parents who haven’t considered a career in cyber security for their children become aware of both the economic rewards and the job satisfaction offered by our industry. The only people who can really spread that message are those working in the industry already – it’s another way to help close the skills gap we are currently suffering.”

In this same research, 46% of UK students polled indicated that they had heard of cyber security from their parents, showing a strong case for the education of parents, as well as children, for the benefit of industry.

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Vanson Bourne undertook research on behalf of the SANS Institute, questioning 4000 students aged 14-18 across EMEA. 1000 UK parents were also questioned on similar topics to the students across EMEA previously mentioned.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future