The Cyber Security Course
In the job market of today and especially tomorrow, there’s one thing for sure: Cybersecurity, no matter what the area or the specialization is, will be in extremely hot demand. This is because the cyberthreat landscape is changing so rapidly. There are new attacks and variants coming out literally every day.
It takes a skilled IT professional to keep up with all of this and to offer suggestions and solutions as to how all of this can be handled. But it takes a very unique skill set and mindset in order to do these kinds of tasks.
Cybersecurity Skills Are Learned Over a Lifetime
Candidates wanting to get into the cybersecurity field should have some sort of technological background, such as (at the very minimum) either an Associate’s or Bachelor of Science Degree in computer science or some other closely-related field. The reason for this is that the tools being used to combat cyberattacks are becoming much more sophisticated themselves.
The cybersecurity specialist must be able to work in a team and collaborate with the other members. The key takeaway here is that these skill sets can’t be taught by attending a bootcamp or even attending college. They must be acquired at an early age, and this process takes an entire lifetime.
This means there is now a huge effort underway in the cybersecurity industry to get children interested in learning about technology. If they are interested in tech at an early age, they are more likely to consider a career in cybersecurity after they complete high school or college.
How to Get Kids Interested in Cybersecurity — Training the Educators
Despite the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity workers, there is still a very serious lack of qualified individuals.
As you can see, there is a shortage of almost 350,000 skilled professionals, and this number is only expected to increase. Furthermore, the number of well-trained cybersecurity workers is low.
In a way, this is a cycle that feeds itself. Because of this severe shortage, businesses and corporations are scrambling to find skilled workers and a lot of time is spent on the recruitment of individuals who may be only partially qualified. This means more time is spent on training these new employees in latest tools and threats. And because of the efforts of ongoing training, the existing IT security staff simply can’t keep up with their increasing workloads.
This brings us to the most important issue: The importance of introducing kids to the principles and concepts of cybersecurity at all grade levels, kindergarten through twelfth grade.
The key idea here is that these children and even teenagers not only have to be interested in learning about cybersecurity but have to maintain and grow this interest in the years ahead. Maintaining and growing this interest could lead them into a profitable career which is in high demand.
How can this be accomplished?
First: In order to inspire the younger generation, educators themselves must have a strong working knowledge of the concepts and tools of cybersecurity. This can be accomplished on a cost-effective basis:
- Receive training: One of the best ways that teachers can learn is by making use of the free resources available through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (aka NICCS). This is actually managed by the Department of Homeland Security, and all of the needed training materials can be found here
- Seek mentors from the cybersecurity industry: Even after completing a comprehensive training program, teachers may still not yet feel ready to share their knowledge with their students. One of the best options is to actually reach out to a cybersecurity firm and ask if you can be mentored in this area. As most of these firms are aware of the severe shortage of qualified professionals, it’s very likely that they will be able to help you find a mentor who will want to help both you and your students
- Receive online training on a regular basis: There are many online trainers and educators available for all levels of interest in cybersecurity topics. Take advantage of the Internet’s resources!
It is very important that you as an educator spend the necessary time to fully understand what cybersecurity is about. After all, kids are very impressionable, and the first impression that they get from you should be a positive one in order to catch their interest.