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Tech in Schools Trains the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

We’re living in the peak in the Digital Era, so it’s no surprise that the business of online scamming and malware is at an all-time high. Because of this, the demand for cybersecurity experts is at its peak, as well.

But the industry is reshaping, so companies are desperate to find cybersecurity experts trained with enough high-level knowledge to stay one step ahead of online attackers and cybercriminals.

This comes as a challenge as the pool for cybersecurity talent is facing endangerment. In 2018, nearly 302,000 U.S. jobs in the cybersecurity sector went unfilled. As a result, K-12 and primary schools across the nation are amending their curricula, thus providing students with the necessary technology.

How Do We Stop the Widening Cybersecurity Talent Gap?

According to hundreds of IT and cybersecurity professionals, the talent shortage problem is one of the most significant current difficulties. In 2018, 51% of organizations had a shortage in employees with cybersecurity skill sets. This percentage has been on a constant incline since 2014.

Today, the American economy needs more than one million cybersecurity positions filled. However, this is also a global issue. India needs 1 million cybersecurity experts, and 88% of Australian IT decision makers say there is a national shortage of e-security experts in their businesses as well. By next year, the global economy will need 3.5 million cybersecurity positions filled, and Europe will face a tech skills gap of 350,000 workers by 2022. The solution? Education.

Teach Them While They’re Young: In-Class Tech Use Gets Students Thinking About Their Future

Technology grants a way to show students a wider range of opportunities, opening their horizons to diversified career options. In other words, exposing children to technology at a younger age increases their interest in it. If you owned a business, would you hire the cybersecurity interview candidate who got into tech within the last 5 years, or the one who grew up on tech and loved it enough to stick with it?

Related: Top 10 Must-Read Books on Information Security

Today, 1 in 3 15-year-olds already know what they want to do for a career. In fact, they’re adamant on pursuing one of the top 10 most popular careers, whether or not it will still be in demand by the time they’re old enough to actually work in that field.

Students’ rising interest in tech-related work is one of the many benefits of tech. Educators are loving the digital help, too. Today, more than 9 in 10 educators are interested in the benefits of technology to improve their teaching style. Through use of video, artificial intelligence, robotics, and more, classrooms are changing, and more students than ever are being trained to float into the tech job market.

Is Higher Education Essential Given the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage?

Most of today’s high school students want to put their passion for tech to use, but are afraid they’ll never be able to start a career in cybersecurity because doing so requires a degree – and the concept of debt is terrifying. However, schools are also teaching GenZ a better grasp of economy, and students understand that going to college is the key to success.

To work around the issue, GenZ spends their free time padding their resumes in hopes of earning a scholarship. The average GenZ student spends 6.48 hours per week on homework, and 2.66 hours per work volunteering. This has changed the entire way American students view college.

With a 0% unemployment rate, cybersecurity professionals enjoy higher levels of job security than the average American employee. Princeton University, Dartmouth, and Carnegie Mellon University are among today’s top universities for cybersecurity programs. At these universities, students are able to earn their Masters in Science in fields of Information Security and Assurance, Information Technology, Computer Science, and Engineering.

However, due to their massive costs, being accepted into this league of universities is far from the practical for today’s K-12 students: the GenZ age demographic. Nearly half of American workers are living on less than $18,000 a year, and rising student debt has made Gen Z wary about getting their money’s worth before even applying to college.

Still, they remain determined. GenZ is on course to become the most educated and most entrepreneurial generation yet. With the help of flipped classrooms and STEM education, students are learning the concepts they’ll need to succeed in their future workplace. How has using tech in the classroom prepared you for the future?

Demetrius has been a tech-lover since 2013. Demetrius currently writes tech news for Robotics Business Review & 21stCenTech, and has also conducted hands-on ISEF research from 2013-2016. Recently, Demetrius found an interest in SEO tech and halfway through completing his undergraduate’s degree. In the meantime, he is the Jr. Promotions Specialist at NowSourcing, Inc- an premier, award-winning design agency. Connect with Demetrius @demeharrison on social sites.

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The opinions expressed in these guest posts are entirely those of the contributing author, and may not reflect those of SensorsTechForum.

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