Tapping Diverse Communities to Address the Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage

By Cecily Joseph, Symantec's VP, Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer
Nov 6, 2015 1:00 PM ET

Today, cybersecurity is one of the most important fields in technology, and yet, despite its importance, many women and professionals of color are largely unaware that this career opportunity exists. Earlier this week, Raytheon and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) released Securing Our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap, a survey of young adults in 12 countries about cybersecurity career interest and preparedness. The results show that many of these young adults, ages 18 to 26, aren’t receiving information about the cybersecurity profession—and the problem is even worse for females. Globally, 66 percent of women reported their career counselors and teachers had never mentioned cybersecurity careers as an option.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that 86 percent of computer science degrees issued last year in the U.S. and Canada went to males. And when we look beyond gender, we learn that only 4.1 percent of these computer science degrees went to black students and 7.7 percent to Hispanic students, versus 58 percent to white students.

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