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 U.S. 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.
When asked why they had never considered a career in cybersecurity, respondents said that they do not have the proper skills to become a cybersecurity professional or had no interest in the field.
In addition, the survey noted that women comprise just 14 percent of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce, emphasizing the need for gender balance to improve national security.
The survey also found that only a third of U.S. adults are confident that their company is prepared to combat hackers. Of the respondents who do not believe their company is prepared for a cyber-attack, a quarter (26 percent) said that it is because they do not have an expert on staff.