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Woburn, MA – January 11, 2018 – WannaCry, ExPetr and other large-scale cyberattacks that made headlines in 2017 have been putting cybersecurity careers firmly on the radar for young women – a critical change for an industry that is expected to have a shortfall of 1.8 million professionals by 2022, and in which only 11 percent of professionals are currently women. Recent research from Kaspersky Lab suggests that the industry’s gender gap could be significantly reduced if businesses seize their opportunity to attract more recruits into cybersecurity roles, while interest is hot.
With the skills shortage within cybersecurity so pressing, roles in the industry are there for the taking, and jobs advertised by recruitment websites are up 99 percent year-on-year. Against this backdrop, the positive and increasingly prominent role cybersecurity is playing in society means it is now set to join the ranks of other careers traditionally pursued by young ambitious women that want to make a difference – such as healthcare and teaching.
A recent study by Kaspersky Lab asked 16-21 year olds what careers they are most interested in pursuing, and found healthcare (including veterinary, dentistry and pharmacy) and teaching to be among the most popular answers among young women (28 percent and 21 percent). The majority, moreover, said that they wanted a career they could be passionate about (72 percent) and would enable them to earn a good salary (52 percent). One-in-five also stated that they wanted a career that would allow them to make a difference to society (23 percent).
The study’s findings also suggest there is a dawning realization among young women that a career in cybersecurity might also tick the box, something that recent high-profile attacks have highlighted. When asked what they think of cybersecurity, top responses showed that young women believe cybersecurity is an important role (57 percent) and helpful to society (44 percent).
In addition, more than half (58 percent) of young women said they have heard about cybersecurity in the news recently – for example, on TV, on the radio, in newspapers or online – and what they have seen has been mostly positive. Young women also have a high regard for people in the profession – two-in-three think cybersecurity professionals are highly intelligent (62 percent) and skilled at solving problems (60 percent) and two-in-five admire their drive (38 percent).
“With competitive salaries, exceptional perks and, most importantly, an end goal to protect everyone from online threats, cybersecurity could soon be up there with highly-prized careers for ambitious young people that want to make a difference in society,” said Todd Helmbrecht, senior vice president of marketing, Kaspersky Lab North America. “The responsibility is now on businesses to help young women take advantage of their skills, and convert their interests in the sector, while the time is ripe and interests are high. Talking about the skills shortage openly and encouraging more female role models in the field to step forward will go a long way in engaging with young women while they are making crucial decisions about their future.”
Find out more information about the findings and read the full report, “Beyond 11%: A Study into Why Women are not Entering Cybersecurity,” here.
About the Research
An online survey conducted by Arlington Research and Kaspersky Lab questioned 4,001 young people from the UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel and the Netherlands. Using an equal split of men and women, the research sought to uncover their interests, influences and attributes, and their awareness and perception of cybersecurity as a profession and future career.
All respondents were between 16-21 years of age and were either currently attending, have attended or wish to attend university.
About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2017. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.
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