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Calling All Women: The Cybersecurity Field Needs You & 1M Jobs Waiting

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Cybersecurity has a gender problem: Only 11% of the world’s information security workforce are women, according to the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) — a 501(c)3 non-profit passionate about helping and empowering women to succeed in the Cybersecurity field.

The small representation of women in cyber is a big opportunity for them to enter a field with a severe labor shortage. There are one million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program. Demand for cybersecurity talent is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, says Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec SYMC -1.28%, the world’s largest security software vendor.

WSC states that 50% of professional occupations in the U.S. are held by women, and that 25% of computing occupations in the U.S. are held by women. That leaves tremendous headroom for women to enter the fast-growing cybersecurity market, which is expected to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020. There are numerous programs to help high school girls learn about cybersecurity, gain experience for potential summer internships, and enhance college applications.

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering offers the GenCyber Computer Science for Cyber Security (CS4CS) Summer Program for High School Women. This is a free, three-week, full-day summer program providing an introduction for high school women on the fundamentals of cybersecurity, and computer science. No background or experience in cybersecurity or computer programming is needed in order to apply. NYU’s summer cyber program is generously funded by the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency.

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