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A Majority of IT Pros Are Interested in Jobs in Cyber

Cybersecurity is in the lead when it comes to the areas that IT pros would like to work in—though many feel they lack the skills to do so.

According to a report from industry association CompTIA, a majority of the 820 IT professionals surveyed (51%) express an interest in working on cybersecurity-related issues, well ahead of other cutting-edge issues such as the internet of things (30%) and artificial intelligence or machine learning (20%).

However, the results show that the industry will struggle to fill the millions of jobs in cybersecurity and other areas that are expected to be available through 2024. For example, nearly one-quarter of respondents say they are concerned about their skills becoming obsolete.

“The tech industry’s challenge is America’s challenge: developing a robust workforce that can effectively fill the IT jobs of the 21st century, whether those jobs are in cybersecurity, IoT, AI or some new technology that’s still to come,” said Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president, industry relations at CompTIA.

Another major issue for the future of tech jobs is what CompTIA has identified as a “confidence gap,” where the lack of diversity in the tech industry has many potential workers thinking that a career in tech is not for them.

Among women IT pros surveyed, 34% say they ended up in an IT role after working in non-IT jobs. This finding aligns with earlier CompTIA research, which found that though boys and girls generally use technology in about equal numbers, girls and young women have less access to information about careers in the technology field. That includes opportunities for classroom instruction; through encouragement about career options from parents; and by the lack of access to female role models who work in the tech industry.

“In the United States alone, we expect 1.8 million tech workers to join the labor force through 2024,” Hammervik said. “We need to attract and recruit a diverse workforce of individuals, with and without college degrees, and support them in their career growth.”

In the good-news column, a net 79% of IT pros said they are satisfied with their jobs, up from 73% in 2015. Nearly three-quarters (73%) feel their job provides them with a sense of personal accomplishment; while 71% believe their job makes good use of their talents. Also, amidst the heightened interest in cybersecurity, respondents said they are seeing more opportunities for training and networking.

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