STEM Education Is The Answer To The Cybersecurity Skills GapBy Chris Brandt
As technology advances, there is also an increase in cyber security threats, which become more and more complicated as well. The sad, reality, however, is that the number of cybersecurity professionals with the skills to combat the growing threats is limited. This problem, of course, has a solution which lies in STEM education.
The need for skilled cybersecurity professionals is so great according to a report released by the Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The problem, however, is that there are not enough people who will fill these positions. The report revealed that in 2015 alone, more than 200,000 cyber security positions were left unfilled.
One of the ways to solve this problem is to integrate STEM education in grade school. This means giving students more hands-on learning on STEM subjects along with traditional learning. This enables the students to encounter real-life technology problems and allow them to experiment in order to find real-life solutions.
Programs, such as the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, is a good place to start because it gives teachers access to STEM-related resources allowing them to create curricula that focus more on science, technology, engineering, and math.
There are already a number of schools that have taken the initiative in preparing their students for a career in STEM. The school, King William High School in Virginia, has a four-year track which teaches students the basic skills needed for an entry-level position in cyber security.
Furthermore, higher education is also taking notice of the increasing opportunity in cybersecurity. A lot of universities around the country are now offering computer science courses with cyber security as the main focus. These courses normally include understanding various design systems and strategies that protect data as well as computer security.
Aside from classroom instruction, universities have also partnered with tech companies that offer internships to STEM students. These internships give students the opportunity to work with real-life cyber security scenarios along with experts in the field. Cybersecurity education might still have a long way to go but it is a start.