While U.S. government officials find the current pipeline for cybersecurity talent to be lacking, 82 percent of U.S. millennials say no high school teacher or guidance counselor ever mentioned to them the idea of a career in cybersecurity, according to a survey commissioned by Raytheon and conducted by Zogby Analytics.
The survey also found less than one-quarter of young adults aged 18 to 26 believed the career is interesting at all. Also, young men (35 percent) are far more interested than young women (14 percent) in a career in cybersecurity.
The survey found many young adults raised on social networking trust technology and are not overly concerned about the threat of online identity theft or of their personal data being stolen. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said they were confident their friends would only post information about them on the Internet that they are comfortable with and 26 percent said they had never changed their mobile banking password.
The Facebook Generation, sometimes referred to as "Generation F," includes millennials who have grown up using social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Raytheon found that despite their risky online behavior, many millennials are becoming aware of Internet risks and are taking steps to protect themselves.
Eighty-two percent of millennials password-protect their laptop or desktop computer, the survey found, while 61 percent password-protect their mobile phone. Thirty-seven percent of millennials said they had backed up the data on their laptop or desktop in the last month.
Key survey findings include:
- Eighty-two percent of U.S. millennials say no high school teacher or guidance counselor ever mentioned to them the idea of a career in cybersecurity.
- Young men (35 percent) are far more interested than young women (14 percent) in a career in cybersecurity.
- Thirty percent of millennials have met someone online who gave them a fake photo, false information about their job or education, or other misleading information about themselves.
- Twenty percent have had to ask someone to take down personal information posted about them in the last year.
- Forty-eight percent have used a portable storage device for their computer that was given to them by someone else.
- Eighty-six percent said it's important to increase cybersecurity awareness programs in the workforce and in formal education programs.
"Today's millennials are tomorrow's leaders and their embrace of technology will continue to drive our economy forward," said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. "This survey shows the gaps that exist in teaching personal online security to our youth and in our efforts to inspire the next generation of innovators."