As we write this piece, the number of people employed in the field of cybersecurity in the United States has surpassed one million. The number of job postings for roles connected to cybersecurity has been steadily increasing over the course of the past few months, which is another fascinating development. According to Cyber Seek, there are currently a total of 600,000 job opportunities in the United States.
In other words, there is a widening imbalance between the supply and demand for talent. And while there could be several different factors that led to this result, the lack of diversity is one of the most significant contributors.
According to a survey that was produced by The Aspen Institute, it is estimated that only 4 per cent of those working in cybersecurity consider themselves to be Hispanic, while 9 per cent consider themselves to be black, and 24 per cent consider themselves to be women. The fact that African Americans make up only 13 percent of the population in the United States, while Hispanics make up 19 percent, makes matters much worse, but also demonstrates that this could be the answer to bridging the achievement gap.
The question then becomes: why do such a small number of people want to work on a subject that provides its employees with so many advantages? On the one hand, the demographics in the field of cybersecurity are primarily represented by white males, and on the other hand, there is a dearth of funding choices that are available so that marginalized minorities can acquire the appropriate training.
What can we do to make the cybersecurity workforce more welcoming to people of all backgrounds?
The first thing that needs to happen is for training programmes in cybersecurity to recognise the role they play in the current predicament. They then need to devise a variety of strategies to encourage a more diverse population to enrol in their programmes and produce high-wage career opportunities for communities that are underrepresented.
Candidates from the Northeast and Southeast regions of the United States are eligible for a partial tuition grant from the Foundation, which is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and CISA. This grant will allow candidates to get a head start in their careers.
Included in academies should be mentorship programs, in which trained professionals instruct students and describe what it’s like to work in the cybersecurity field. Because of Through this, kids are able to gain a deeper understanding of the skills they need to hone, the distinctions between the many career paths, and the option that is most suitable for them. Apprenticeships are something that might potentially develop out of this programme in the future. Apprenticeships would give each student the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice while simultaneously enhancing their prospects of finding full-time work.
However, academies and other training institutions are not solely responsible for all of the tasks. In addition, other organizations of varying sizes have contributed to this effort.
They need to develop strategies to not just improve the diversity of their talent pool but also to maintain it. And by this, we do not mean adding one or two Hispanics or African Americans to their team; rather, we mean creating an atmosphere that allows them to feel like they are a part of the community. For instance, respecting the customs and holidays of each culture, conducting diversity training, and modifying company policies to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to advance their careers are all examples of how this can be done.
Because of this, we think it’s important for those in charge of cybersecurity to start placing a greater emphasis when looking for new talent for their organizations’ on having a workforce that is diverse and inclusive. In fact, they should choose their personnel based on their ability to do a job rather than on the credentials they’ve obtained, and they should also provide them with the necessary training so that they can continue to specialise in their fields.
This will not only help their company become known as an organization that values diversity, but it will also provide their team with more perspectives on a problem, different approaches to take when formulating a solution, and even more experience and ideas that will assist them in remaining one step ahead of cyberthreats.
What further suggestions do you have to offer? Please leave a comment and share this post so that we can all contribute to making the world realize that our unique characteristics only serve to strengthen us.
The number of people employed in the field of cybersecurity in the United States has surpassed one million. Only 4 percent of those working in cybersecurity consider themselves to be Hispanic, according to a survey. There is a dearth of funding available so that marginalized minorities can acquire appropriate training. Mentorship programs should be included in academies to teach students what it’s like to work in cybersecurity. Apprenticeships would give students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice while enhancing their prospects of finding full-time work. Cybersecurity organizations need to develop strategies to improve the diversity of their talent pool.