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There is a massive amount of open jobs in the cybersecurity industry and, digging down that much more, the OT side is relatively barren.

Add on top of that, a majority of U.S. citizens remain concerned about cybersecurity threats, but what is interesting is quite a few are considering changing careers and returning to college to pursue a cybersecurity education.

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Of the 1,004 adults surveyed by Champlain College Online, 41 percent said they would probably or definitely consider returning to college to earn a certificate or degree to prepare for a cybersecurity job.

However, willingness rose to 72 percent if current employers were willing to pay for respondents’ education in preparation for an in-house cybersecurity job. Those respondents most willing to consider pursuing an employer-funded cyber education were between the ages of 35 and 44.

Cyber Security

“These findings are great news for employers seeking to address the cyber skills gap within their organizations yet facing recruitment challenges,” said Melissa Marcello, associate vice president at Champlain College Online. “Our survey shows that employers have a ready and willing pool of future cyber experts within their current workforce, if they’re willing to provide the resources and support to upskill and train them.”

Interesting points from the survey show:
• 88 percent of surveyed adults said they were very or somewhat concerned about cybersecurity threats impacting them personally, with older respondents showing greater concern than younger ones. Fifty percent of respondents ages 54 to 72 said they were “very concerned” about such threats.
• 68 percent of respondents were confident in colleges and universities’ abilities to create solutions that address cyber threats
• When presented with various roles that colleges and universities could play in reducing cyber threats and improving information security, 90 percent of respondents felt higher education institutions should ensure all college students — regardless of major — have a basic cybersecurity education.
• Feeling it was too late to consider a career change was the primary reason identified by respondents for not considering returning to college to prepare for a cybersecurity job. Twenty-two percent of respondents felt that way, including many younger respondents in prime career-changing years.
• Women (13 percent) were significantly more likely than men (6 percent) to say they didn’t think they had what it takes to be successful in a technical field.
• 85 percent of respondents believed more should be done to encourage women to enter the cybersecurity field.

“Cybersecurity is crucial to so many industries that it’s vital for everyone, regardless of gender, age or career field, to have at least a baseline understanding of cyber principles,” said Kathleen Hyde, chair of cybersecurity programs at Champlain College Online. “For those seeking more, like career changers, nearly everyone is an ideal candidate for a cybersecurity degree or certificate program because of the vast landscape.”

Click here to register for the complete report.

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