Anssi surveys students on their perceptions of cyber jobs – Computerworld

In line with the Observatory of cybersecurity professions, Anssi is continuing its action by carrying out a study which focuses on the attractiveness and representations of professions among students and people in training. The results reveal an uneven perception of the sector and professions depending on the training course.

While the IT security sector lacks skills, the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi) has chosen to identify the levers to attract candidates to cybersecurity jobs. For this purpose, a survey was carried out to 3,500 people. To better understand the representation that students have of the sector, students from engineering schools as well as people in training were interviewed. Among the characteristics that emerge, we first discover that the rate of feminization in cybersecurity or IT training remains low. Indeed, only 4% of students in these courses are women. The image of a male sector predominates, since more than two-thirds of respondents aged 20 and 25 (71%) say they have a representation of these professions mainly exercised by men.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents follow a bac+5 level education (64%), with a strong presence of engineering courses. However, these profiles remain a privileged target in terms of recruitment. Bac+2 levels are more represented among respondents taking computer training. The study also notes a large population of work-study trainees in cybersecurity training, with the use of work-study seeming to be a strong practice in this area (42%, i.e. more than 21 points compared to respondents from the IT course). Another lesson provided by this report: unequal knowledge of the sector and trades depending on the training course. Indeed, all disciplines combined, 62% of respondents said they knew the sector. This figure is roughly the same for students in IT courses excluding cybersecurity. Respondents excluding IT and cyber are 40% to declare knowledge of the sector. Unsurprisingly, 90% of students in cycles dedicated to cybersecurity believe they understand this sector, including 12% perfectly.

Students approach cyber professions differently. Source: Anssi/Image credit: Anssi)

Professions little described in non-technical training

Asked about their information channels, cybersecurity and IT students mainly discovered this sector during their training (64% and 52% respectively). For the others, the main sources of knowledge of the sector are the general media and the news (49% of respondents), followed by audiovisual content, such as cinema or TV (41%). They say they have never heard of cybersecurity during their learning period. In this study, theANSSI also notes that IT cycle profiles are a prime target for cyber recruiters. As proof, 67% of computer science students believe they were informed about job opportunities or trades at that time. Nevertheless, 63% of students from other streams believe that they do not know about these professions. These results therefore suggest that it is necessary to communicate more to students about the opportunities in the sector in terms of employment, regardless of their specializations.

A marked attraction for the private sector

As for the most popular sectors of activity, most students (81%) consider the private sector to be the most attractive. The feeling of a high need for qualification required by this sector is also part of the elements that emerge from this observatory. This perception is heightened among generalist profiles who believe that cyber is reserved for specialists. Conversely, cybersecurity students believe that this field is accessible to people undergoing retraining. Whatever the training courses, the trades that appear among the most frequently cited as being known are the pentester and the information systems security manager (RSSI). Respondents from the cybersecurity and computer science courses selected the profession of cybersecurity consultant.

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A career in cybersecurity in the private sector appeals to a majority of students. (Source: Anssi/Image credit: Anssi)

Asked about the most promising sectors of activity in terms of career, respondents trained in cybersecurity and IT establish an identical ranking. Are mentioned, IT/digital, the aeronautics/spatial/defense industry as well as services and solutions specialized in cybersecurity. Conversely, the e-commerce sector is designated as the least attractive.

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Anssi surveys students on their perceptions of cyber jobs – Computerworld


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