Information security professional body (ISC)2 has announced a Young Professionals Group to attract young people to the field of information security.
A pilot with eight (ISC)2 chapters was launched at the Second Annual (ISC)2 Security Congress on 9 September, with a full roll-out of the programme across the organisation planned for January 2013.
The programme is designed to attract more young people to the information security field, whether they are still in secondary school, recently graduated from university or new to the workforce.
It is open to aspiring and active cyber security professionals aged 35 and under who are looking for ways to bolster their careers and broaden their connections to the professional community.
Mentorship opportunities are also available through the programme for experienced professionals who would like to foster the next generation of professionals.
Growing security skills gap between generations
(ISC)2 said the Young Professionals Group is in direct response to the widening gap between the demand for and supply of skilled information security professionals and to the absence of an existing effective pathway for young people into the profession.
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According to (ISC)2’s 2011 Global Information Security Workforce Study, 4.2 million information security professionals will be employed by government and private industry by 2015, yet less than 10% of the existing workforce is under the age of 29.
Information security professionals enjoy a near full-employment market, in which job stability, high salaries and upward mobility are the norm, according to the (ISC)2 2012 Career Impact Survey.
“There is strong opportunity with growing recognition of our economic dependencies on a secure online business world,” said John Colley, managing director for (ISC)2 in Europe.
He said the UK, with its Cyber Security Strategy, recognises that the internet drives prosperity, accounting for 21% of the country’s GDP growth and 6% of overall GDP currently – nearly twice the average across developed economies.
“Getting young people on track to join the information security profession is critical to our future.The Young Professionals Group will not only help young people learn about the benefits of a career in this field, but it will also help the profession gain much better insight into the needs of the younger generation and how best to engage them,” said Colley.