Why is cybersecurity one of the best fields for young people to enter?

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The cybersecurity industry has a talent shortage and is seeking professionals to close the 2.72 million global workforce gap. Young people could be the answer to fulfilling the need organizations have to adequately defend their critical assets. Cybersecurity is a fitting choice for Gen Z and young Millennials interested in a progressive and rewarding field where the only consistency is evolution, advancing challenges and continuing education.

Satisfaction and Compensation

“Despite some of the prevailing narratives in the media about cybersecurity professionals feeling stressed, unappreciated and facing overwhelming pressure, our research continues to reveal a highly engaged and satisfied workforce.” (2021 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study) 77% of Workforce Study respondents reported they are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their jobs, with Gen Z/Millennials experiencing the highest satisfaction rate at 79%.

The fluidity of remote work permits the freedoms and work-life balance that Gen Z and Millennials seek and has been embraced by the cybersecurity industry. The Workforce Study revealed that about 85% of global respondents worked remotely in both 2020 and 2021. While the work from home trend was escalated by the pandemic, of companies that have implemented remote work only 24% have plans to fully return to a conventional office environment.

Cybersecurity professionals not only find high job satisfaction but are strongly compensated for their work. Respondents reported an average salary before taxes of U.S. $90,900, up from U.S. $83,000 among respondents in 2020, with 31% reporting a median annual salary of U.S. $100,000 or more.

Pathways to Cyber

Gen Z and Millennials make up 39% of the current cyber workforce and with their entrance, pathways into cybersecurity are much more diverse than past generations. Getting a start outside of IT is more common for younger professionals, which may indicate that cybersecurity is becoming better understood as a career opportunity for younger workers and students. Only 38% of younger cyber pros started in IT, compared to 53% for Gen X and 55% for Boomers, and they have higher rates of entry through education and self-learning. While an IT background remains the single most common route taken overall, 47% of study participants, this is giving way to a variety of entry points.

To fill the cybersecurity workforce gap, (ISC)² has begun the exciting process of exploring the creation of a new entry-level certification. This foundational certification will help professionals interested in building a career in cyber achieve the education and information they need on their way to a rewarding career. For those with some industry experience, or with an interest in a specialization, the (ISC)² Qualification Pathfinder provides a simple online questionnaire to easily discover which (ISC)² certification is the best match.

For more information on (ISC)² Research, and to see the full 2021 (ISC)² Workforce Study visit https://www.isc2.org/Research.


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