Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Now Women Can Dominate Cyber Security
A recent research by Cisco shows there are more than 1 million unfulfilled cyber security job openings worldwide. Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) advise that only 11% of positions in this industry are held by women and they want to introduce more and more women to information security. This could provide a chance for women to start to even up the numbers and make their mark on the world of cyber security.
There is continuous growth in the demand for cyber security professionals; there’s been a 74% increase in this demand in just the last five years! According to Michael Brown, CEO of security software giant Symantec, this trend is set to continue. He estimates that over the next three years, the demand for cybersecurity specialists will reach 6 million openings worldwide.
With the statistics by the WSC showing that only 25% of all computing jobs are held by women, it really seems that this is a good time for the ladies to conquer this market and make an impression on an industry that is estimated to be worth $170 billion by 2020 (as compared to $17 billion in 2015).
Opportunities for Women
Of course, this is a professional market and the right qualifications are needed. It’s great to see that there are numerous programmes focused on helping young women gain experience and knowledge in cyber security.
One of the great opportunities out there is the CS4CS – aka the GenCyber Computer Science for Cyber Security summer program for high school women offered by The NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Funded by the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency, this learning opportunity does not require any previous knowledge and is absolutely free to join. The training lasts three weeks and is aiming to teach the students all needed basics of computer science and cyber security.
If you have graduated and have even advanced in your profession, but are willing to give cyber security a go, there are even more opportunities:
WSC is a business society of women willing to offer full support to those about to begin their cybersecurity training, crossing over from another business area, or to experts willing to up their skills and become more competitive on the labour market. What WSC can offer is a mix of hands-on training, many networking opportunities, and workshops providing all needed practical skills. Realising what really matters, WSC also has organised a career centre and introduced Toastmasters – a special leadership training helping people overcome their fear of public speaking and acquire better presentation skills.
If you are willing to undergo a fast-track training to achieve a Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy for Women is the perfect option. Created by the SANS Institute one of the leading organisations in cyber security, this accelerated learning programme guarantees quality training free of charge. According to the company behind it, completing this learning will provide you with plenty of job opportunities in cybersecurity.
Gathering women from all levels of expertise and involvement (academia, research, and industry), WiCyS was launched three years ago and is a collaborative effort between Tennessee Tech, the University of Memphis and Jackson State Community College, supported by National Science Foundation. The yearly conference is a great forum to promote your business and skills, meet potential employees and employers, discuss best practices and create your own professional network.
Part of New America’s Cybersecurity initiative, the Women in Cybersecurity Project is putting together business, government and academics in order to find a solution to a large scale problem ahead – an industry unable to offer women, who make half of their consumers, a product to suit their needs. As cybersecurity specialists are mainly males, this is a danger that is almost imminent, so the project is aiming to introduce more and more women to cybersecurity using all means companies and governments can offer.
With so many opportunities and influential organisations supporting women in cyber security, it seems that it is time for the ladies to take their cyber security places and be involved in shaping the future of cyber resilience.