When it comes to cybersecurity careers, adults in the US reportedly don’t know the various job opportunities available in the field, despite the growing demand for professionals to fill the enormous skills gap.
According to a new survey from the University of Phoenix, US adults are not familiar with certain cybersecurity jobs, and the majority have never considered a career in the field. Most are unfamiliar with what cybersecurity professionals do and the education it takes to work in the field.
Conducted online between 26 April and 10 May 2018 by the Harris Poll, the survey included 2,000 US adults over the age of 18. Of the total participants in the survey, 859 said that they have been hacked in the past three years. The survey examined US adults’ perceptions of different aspects of cybersecurity, including career familiarity, gender disparity and workplace readiness.
Only about one in 10 respondents was very familiar with the 11 different cybersecurity job titles presented in the survey, and at least 20% had never heard of them. More than half ( 52%) had never heard of a penetration tester, while just under half (46%) had no knowledge of the “white hat” ethical hacker job title. Only 13% of respondents had heard of a security software developer, and as little as 8% of participants were familiar with the roles of security engineer and computer security incident responder.
“More than a quarter of survey respondents said that they possess some of the IT skills taught in the university’s cybersecurity-focused programs, such as programming (33%), data analytics (26%) and coding and web development (both 31%),” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean for the college of information systems and technology, school of business and college of criminal justice at University of Phoenix.
While the report found that 44% of women had experienced a personal security breach in the past three years, it also found that 89% of female respondents said that they had never considered a career in cybersecurity. Of the women who participated in the survey, 54% said they would need improved education to consider a career in cybersecurity.