Abu Dhabi, UAE. Most young Emirati adults have received career guidance in cyber-security, according to a new survey commissioned by Raytheon Company and the US National Cyber Security Alliance.
Among the youth of 12 countries surveyed across four continents, more millennials in the UAE heard about cyber careers from teachers and know what cyber professionals do than their peers abroad.
For the report, titled “Securing Our Future: Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap,” Raytheon-NCSA surveyed nearly 3,800 young adults aged 18 to 26 worldwide. The survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics, included respondents from the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and eight other countries outside the Middle East region. The goal was to identify the root causes of the cyber talent gap as part of a shared, long-term commitment to building a robust talent pipeline.
The survey found that:
•72 per cent of Emiratis were given career guidance in the field of cybersecurity, compared to the 56 per cent average found in the Middle East and double the global average (34 per cent)
•84 per cent of those surveyed in the UAE are aware of the typical job responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals, compared to the 45 per cent average worldwide
•63 per cent of Emirati youth have met with cyber professionals, mostly to discuss career opportunities in cybersecurity, compared to d 31 per cent internationally
•66 per cent of youth in the UAE are more likely than a year ago to consider a career in cybersecurity
•61 per cent of young adults in the UAE have been offered the skills that prepare them to pursue a career in cybersecurity
•70 per cent of young Emirati adults reported reading or hearing a news account related to cyberattacks, compared to 48 per cent globally
“The UAE has long invested in creating diverse career opportunities for Emirati youth to excel across a multitude of fields, and the survey results are a testament to these national efforts,” said Chris Davis, president of Raytheon International Inc. in the UAE. “The need for properly trained cybersecurity professionals to help protect against cyber threats is on the rise in the Emirates and globally.”
Earlier this year, Raytheon launched an international Cyber Academy with the first specialized workshops at Khalifa University. The effort is part of the company’s partnerships with leading educational institutions and its commitment to support the development of knowledge economies worldwide.
Raytheon partnered with the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington to sponsor the UAE Security Forum in Abu Dhabi, to focus on a key topic of global and national security: bridging the cybersecurity talent gap.
Dr. Hadi Otrok, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at Khalifa University added, “We have placed great emphasis on building a robust cybersecurity curriculum at Khalifa University, in light of the UAE’s increased commitment to connected living. The promising results of Raytheon’s survey will undoubtedly help encourage our students to vigorously pursue careers in cybersecurity.”
Survey results were released concurrent with RSA Abu Dhabi 2016, held November 15-16.