It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues for IT security is the general shortage of talent. One solution is to expand the diversity of talent that we attract into our field.
There is a perception from many of the students we speak to that IT Security is largely about Penetration Testing and IT more broadly is about coding and development. These areas generally appear to be more attractive to males and students with a particular skill set.
The reality is that there is a need for a much broader set of skills in the IT industry, and the IT security industry is no different. We need consultants, analysts, strategic thinkers, innovators, troubleshooters, project managers, service delivery specialists, architects, and the list goes on. Each area in the IT field requires different skills and individual qualities.
With this challenge in mind, we teamed up with Wellington East Girls College earlier in the year for their STEAM day and Purple Power week to promote the message that there are many different options for career paths and that IT security offers wonderful opportunities requiring different types of people and all genders. It was an amazing session with lots of great questions from students.
To continue our initiative to help develop young talent for the IT security industry, we have also now donated a trophy to Wellington East Girls College to present to a student who has exhibited Digital Excellence. We are going to present this at the annual prize giving for a Year 9 or Year 10 student in November.
We are hoping that over time we can change the way that secondary school students think about IT and IT Security and that it doesn’t have to be limited only to specific careers, but that if they have the interest, the skill, and the desire, they really can achieve anything they set their mind to.