I recently created a new video series titled, Get the Brett Scott on Cybersecurity to address some of the misperceptions or myths surrounding cybersecurity. Last month, Sheri Piper, Tech Data Cyber Range Master along with a few special guests – Jim Craig, Dean of Business and Information Technology, and Will McCullen, IT Center of Excellence Advanced Program Manager of Pima Community College joined me to discuss the myths around cybersecurity careers. Tune in to the video series here.
Debunking these myths and opening the door to the world of cybersecurity just might persuade you to explore a new career path. Here are three cybersecurity career myths we addressed:
Myth 1: Cybersecurity has often been looked at as a career for those who have a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The Truth: While STEM is a great launching point to help people orient their minds around the ideas, methods and practices of security, the field is also linked to the disciple of the Arts. For instance, with the increased need for compliance and auditing, you can bring in an accountant or a lawyer who has a passion for security and you’ve created a great fertile ground to hybrid those skills and the possibilities become tremendous. Also, as we think outside the box and explore other business fields' skillsets, we get to experience the creativity that other professions can bring to cybersecurity, thus elevating our ability to come up with more diverse solutions to defeat cyberattacks.
Myth 2: Cybersecurity is not a career path that women and minorities should pursue.
The Truth: Our Cyber Range Master, Sheri Piper opened with, “Cybersecurity does not look at your gender, color or your skin or even your age. If you have a passion to be in this field, then pursue it.” As the discussion continued, it was clear that women would make a huge contribution to the diversity of thought which is exactly what’s needed to fight off these incredible and very differing attacks further breaking down the stereotype of cybersecurity being a male-dominated field.
At Pima Community College (PCC) located in Tucson, Arizona, part of its core mission is diversity and social justice. Their outreach to the surrounding community is motivated by genuinely wanting to make a difference in young women’s lives. “We need that diversity of thought, diversity of background, diversity of perspective in the industry in general. It’s the only way that we are going to survive as a whole…”, stated Jim Craig. With lower costs, flexible hours to learn and ways to learn, PCC has created the perfect environment for anyone wanting to explore their interest this growing field. This is evidenced by their over 35% enrollment rate of women in their Cybersecurity program. PCC encourages those interested in security to visit their cyber range, establish a mentorship with one of their students, and uncover the vast possibilities available in this exciting field.
Myth 3: Aligned with addressing women and minorities bringing their mindshare to this career field, we debunked the myth that cybersecurity is only for young people.
The Truth: The cybersecurity industry needs both young and older people contributing their knowledge to this field. In warfare, the more diversity of thought that you have the stronger your military or defense will be. The only way to do that is by bringing a variety of people together for experiential learning because each one brings something valuable to the table that makes the foundation stronger. This field is not just for young people. It’s for anyone who has an interest, anyone who wants to make a difference, anyone who has a passion. It’s that simple. It’s an industry where we can all learn from each other.
I hope you found this information helpful and that you came away with more of an understanding of the amazing potential within the world of cybersecurity.
Stay tuned to our Tech Data Authority blog as we have 6 more cybersecurity career myths to debunk!
About the Author
Brett Scott serves as director of security solutions for Tech Data where he is responsible for new supplier research and recruitment. Brett is also the co-founder and technical architect of the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range, a non-profit organization leading the country in teaching hands-on cyber security skills in a real-world environment to those motivated to develop real competence in cyber security. A hands-on leader with years of experience leading technical teams, Brett has worked in an array of industries and is an expert on cyber security issues facing companies today.