By 2019 there are expected to be 1 million unfilled jobs open in the cyber security sector. It is clear that companies are struggling to fill the skills gap. The solution to ending the shortage? Encourage more women into the industry.
Thursday saw thousands of UK students received their A-Level results and found out whether they will be heading to university. According to reports there will be 27,000 more women than men starting university courses this year.
Currently the UK’s cybersecurity sector employs over 40,000 people and is worth £6 billion to the national economy. According to a recent poll by IBM, only 11% of the workers in the cybersecurity sector are female, despite the fact that women make up 48% of the UK’s total workforce.
In Europe that figure is even worse with women making up just 7% of the cyber workforce and the US is crying out for new workers in the field.
In 2014, there were more than 200,000 cybersecurity-related job postings in the US, which accounted for 11% of all IT jobs and a growth three times faster than IT jobs overall from 2010 to 2014.
‘When it comes to gender, it’s common knowledge that I.T is predominantly male. However, there is a big push at the moment to get more females into information security, and PGI are actively looking for female testers to balance the numbers. Being a security consultant requires a great number of personal qualities. Whilst most people with excellent technical skills are nerdy, this can often be below the surface. The most successful individuals within the I.T industry seem to be exceptionally nerdy and technical, but also have great social and professional skills; it's all about getting the balance right,’ said a security expert at PGI Cyber.
The security industry may be seen as a male dominated workplace but that should not put women off applying for roles in the sector. Attitudes are shifting and with the huge demand for cyber security professionals women will be welcomed with open arms by businesses and organisations wanting to close the skills gap.
Now is a great time for women to seek employment in the cyber security sector. Initiatives to encourage women into the industry are underway, and support groups are in place.
The future is looking bright for the cyber security sector and great opportunities for cyber security professionals regardless of their genders are set to arise. Good pay and a choice of roles is another factor that should be considered. With competition between business fierce to hire cyber security professionals, wages are set to see a solid increase.
If you decide to pursue this career route be sure to get in touch with PGI Cyber. We offer cyber security courses, training and can give you advice on how to get into the industry.