Securing Our Future

Survey highlights the need to close the cybersecurity talent gap


As cyber threats around the world increase in sophistication, the demand for professionals to protect commercial and government networks continues to grow.

 Australia enjoys several advantages when it comes to developing the cybersecurity workforce of the future, according  to Securing Our Future: Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap, an opinion survey commissioned by Raytheon in partnership with the US National Cyber Security Alliance. However, the survey did illuminate the need to more aggressively introduce the concept of cyber careers to the nation's younger generations.

The 2016 survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics, highlights the talent gap in the cybersecurity field. The study of 3,779 adults aged 18-26 was undertaken in late August in Australia, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US. The survey results offer insight into why the global shortage in cyber professionals exists and suggests possible solutions to the problem.

Among the survey's findings:

  • Australia was ahead of the game in encouraging the development of next-generation cyber professionals, with 38.9 percent of schoolchildren introduced to computers by the age of eight and only 29.9 per cent reporting that they were not formally taught methods to stay safe online.
  • 25.4 per cent of young Australian adults are more likely today than a year ago to choose a cybersecurity career.
  •  47.5 per cent of Australian millennials surveyed said they were unaware of the typical range of responsibilities and job tasks of a cybersecurity professional.
  • 62.8 per cent of young Australians reported that they did not hear mentioned the idea of a cybersecurity career at high school.
  • 17.1 per cent of millennials in Australia had ever met someone working in cybersecurity.
  • 33.8 per cent of young Australians were not confident that their parents would know how to guide them on pursuing a career in cybersecurity.
  • The survey also found an apparent gender gap. Young women are less aware of cybersecurity roles and less prepared to take up such opportunities.  For example, while 41.5 per cent of young Australian men said their secondary school computer classes offered to teach skills necessary to pursue a cyber career, the figure for Australian women was 17.7 per cent. 
  • At secondary school, the idea of a cyber career was only raised with 11.0 per cent of women but 44.6 per cent of men.
  • Encouraging young students to consider the cyber profession could begin with making them more aware of the typical range of responsibilities and job tasks involved in cybersecurity, assuring them that cyber careers can provide well paid opportunities and providing more relevant high school classes to prepare them for the necessary university courses.

"The survey is a reminder that cybersecurity is not just a career of the future — it is a career of the present,” said Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia. “As a company with a large engineering and technical workforce, Raytheon is acutely aware of the need to motivate young Australian men and women to continue their maths and science studies, so they can be equipped for cybersecurity careers."

Since 2007, Raytheon Australia has partnered with Questacon, Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre, to reach further and motivate more young Australians to pursue science, maths and engineering-related careers.

This document does not contain Technical Data or Technology controlled under either the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the U.S. Export Administration Regulations. E16-SZV7.

Published On: 11/07/2015
Last Updated: 02/01/2018