According to ThreatX research, consumers in the U.S. and U.K believe increasing cybersecurity education in schools will help close the talent gap. Ninety percent of consumers polled say they have concerns about the future of cybersecurity if more isn’t done at an earlier stage to expose students to the field, and 62% agree that if they or their child had more established education around cybersecurity in school, including courses, clubs and access to STEM programs, they would have considered entering the cybersecurity field.

Results found that nine in 10 agree that not enough is being done to educate students on the opportunities open in cybersecurity, and 88% of consumers are concerned that today’s cybersecurity talent shortage will negatively impact the security of their personal information.

The results show that limited exposure to and educational resources focused on cybersecurity are contributing to the industry’s talent shortage as consumers are less inclined to explore these types of careers. Seventy-two percent of consumers agree that limited exposure to the profession at a younger age, the belief that cybersecurity job candidates need a 4-year college degree to be considered and the lack of cybersecurity education and training in schools are all to blame for the cybersecurity talent shortage. 

Sixty-seven percent agree a career in cybersecurity should be achievable through certifications or apprenticeships versus a 4-year+ university degree and more than half (52%) say engaging students of all backgrounds earlier in proper STEM/cybersecurity courses will help minimize the talent shortage in the cybersecurity industry. More than half (54%) of consumers feel that adding STEM/cybersecurity courses into school curriculums at the U.S. middle school/U.K. secondary school level is the best way to increase interest in a cybersecurity career later in life.