Cybersecurity a popular career choice in UAE, KSA

Report by SANS Institute shows half of IT students in two countries interested in cybersecurity

The answer to our cyber crisis could lie in educating younger generations about cybersecurity now, Baltagi said.
The answer to our cyber crisis could lie in educating younger generations about cybersecurity now, Baltagi said.

Almost half of IT students in UAE and Saudi Arabia IT are interested in cyber security, according to new research by the SANS Institute.   

The latest research from global IT security training company reveals that among 14-18-year-olds across seven countries in the Middle East and Europe, the choice of IT (including cyber security) as a career is highest in Saudi Arabia and the UAE (47% and 46% respectively). Of those, 49% were specifically interested in cyber security across the EMEA sample of students, with Saudi Arabia and UAE leading the pack at 63% and 58% respectively.

“We are currently on the brink of a cyber security crisis. By 2020, there will be approximately 24 billion internet-connected devices installed across the world. However, reports show that in the next year or two, unfilled cyber security job openings globally will run into several millions, meaning we are severely short of professionals to secure all those devices and systems we are putting online,” said Ned Baltagi, managing director in the Middle East, SANS Institute.

“Given the enthusiasm and aptitude of the iGeneration for digital technologies, the answer to our cyber crisis could lie in enthusing and educating younger generations about cyber security now, to arm our future workforce,” he added.

While the majority of students across EMEA had heard of cyber security (81%), the results show that those countries with higher awareness of the subject could potentially have a competitive advantage when it comes to building out talent in the longer term. 

The role of parents in education of cyber security around mobile devices and public Wi-Fi, to a great extent, was the highest in Saudi Arabia (51%) and the UAE (44%) followed by Germany (38%) amongst this sample of EMEA countries.

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