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How (ISC)2 plans to get millennials into cybersecurity careers

The (ISC)2 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study was bigger than ever this year, reaching more than 14,000 respondents. One of the key takeaways from the study, according to (ISC)2 Executive Director David Shearer, is the workforce gap within the security industry. One explanation for the gap could be the lack of millennials entering cybersecurity careers.

"[The] average age within the profession is 42 years of age, which isn't extremely old, but we're just not seeing the millennials and the younger folks coming into the profession," said Shearer.

In this interview at the 2015 RSA Conference, Shearer discusses what he believes is causing millennials to stay away from security career paths.

"I think one of the challenges we have, not just with bringing people into the profession, but with society," said Shearer, "is that the convenience of technology is so attractive; everyone wants the convenience. But with that convenience comes security risks, and that's not always the sexiest topic because … talking about the negative side that technology can bring sometimes is not as attractive. So, maybe we need to think about how we approach the young and maybe that's where some of the rub is."

So, what is (ISC)2 doing to fix this problem? Aside from the global academic program, it's approaching recruiting millennials with a unique set of tactics.

"What we're trying to look at is how to better communicate [with millennials]. (ISC)2 as an organization has to understand approaching millennials and speaking to them in a language that's going to resonate with them to try to get them interested in [security], and we are. But we also have to understand these young folks have been exposed to technology for so long that they look at it as second nature to them."

Shearer remains confident that (ISC)2 can help close the workforce gap. "I think through education and awareness we can make a difference."

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