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Cybersecurity is one of the few career fields in today’s job market whose demand has exceeded supply. The U.S. Department of Labor stated that nearly 210,000 cybersecurity jobs went unfilled last year in the U.S. alone. For an industry that was nearly nonexistent just a decade ago, the last five years have seen growth in cybersecurity careers by 74 percent according to PBS. IT professionals are working to correct this problem in the future by reaching out to younger generations. Cities like San Diego and Los Angeles have even started hosting “cyber boot camps.”
What is ‘cyber boot camp?’
The San Diego Union Times reported that dozens of teens from the aforementioned cities were invited to a free week-long camp in which they were taught “white hat hacking.” Instead of hacking with malicious intent these teens with an aptitude for technology learned all the methods of modern hackers and how to use them for good. In addition to refining their hacking abilities, they were put through data mining scenarios and trained to handle malware.
Who is behind the camp?
A San Diego-based nonprofit called Securing Our eCity Foundation started these “cyber boot camps” with the goal of training teens in technology and encouraging them to pursue careers in cybersecurity. Their mission is to promote cybersecurity best practices in local businesses, schools and individual households. The foundation hired FBI agents, industry professionals, federal judges and military electronic warfare officers to act as the camp counselors. Camp leaders hoped to inspire teens to appreciate smart computing techniques as much as they appreciate the technology itself.
The camp attendees will hopefully become the cybersecurity professionals of the years to come. And since the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that the need for individuals in this field is growing by 5 percent every year, their training promises them a bright future.
Whether you are an experienced IT professional or are looking for a new career there are limitless opportunities for those willing to learn the skills needed to become a cyber professional. With open jobs in public, private, and non-profit organizations those with proper training and credentials can be flexible in where they want to work. If you are interested in what a cyber career entails Protecting Our Future: Educating A Cybersecurity Workforce brings together a range of cybersecurity experts to thoroughly assess operational challenges and workforce needs within critical infrastructure sectors and subsectors.