Champlain College online survey reveals cybersecurity events prompted majority of adults to take protective measures, nearly 30% would consider a career in cybersecurity

Study explores barriers to entering cybersecurity profession and building a diverse workforce

Posted: October 26, 2021 at 5:00 a.m. CDT|Update: 11 minutes ago

BURLINGTON, Vermont., October 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Champlain College Online today announced the results of its survey, Adult Perspectives 2021: The Cyber ​​Security Skills Gap and Barriers to Entry, which found that nearly 80% of American adults have taken steps to protect themselves following recent cyber events and that nearly 30% of non-cyber workers were willing to consider a cyber career.

Champlain College online (PRNewsfoto / Camplain College)

The study highlighted an increased interest in cybersecurity and cybersecurity education, but it also shed light on the barriers preventing potential cyber professionals from launching careers in the in-demand space that is teeming with career opportunities. ‘use. The study found three distinct barriers: high expectations for previous training, a lack of diversity and inclusion, and toxic work environments. Among non-cybernetic respondents, 54% believe that high expectations for education or past experience prevent them from entering the cybersecurity space. Of those respondents who expressed interest in a cyber career, 56% said employer-sponsored training and education would motivate them to continue on their way.

“It is clear that adults are interested in pursuing a career change towards cybersecurity, which is promising given the more than 460,000 job postings across United States alone “said Kathleen hyde, Chair of the cybersecurity program at Champlain College In line. “When looking to continue their education to support this change, it’s important that adults find a program that not only teaches them the basics of cybersecurity, but also provides them with networking skills, soft skills and learning. continuous, instilling the flexibility required for dynamic space. “

The survey also shed light on how adults have responded to recent cyber events. From SolarWinds’ breach in december 2020 With the multiple attacks of 2021 that affected both the public and private sectors, public awareness of cyber threats has increased. Almost 80% of survey respondents took action in response to recent cyber events, with the most common actions including updating passwords or using two-factor authentication.

“Any adult who uses technology should be aware of cybersecurity risks. Many respondents are taking action, but cybernetic gaps remain, ”said Sérgio Tenreiro de Magalhães, associate professor at Champlain College In line. “The demand for cyber professionals and the lack of diversity in the IT workforce are major issues. It is crucial that we strive to address these gaps, including through a more equitable workplace that takes into account non-traditional IT training and e-education that encourages and builds trust, cyber adaptability. professionals. “

Additional survey results include:

  • Of those in the field, 86% who identify as cybersecurity hiring managers indicate that the market expects entry-level cyber applicants to have extensive industry experience. Overall, 72% of respondents believe that some type of university accreditation is required to enter the cybersecurity field.
  • Of those surveyed who expressed interest in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, 56% said employer-sponsored training and education would motivate them to pursue this path, and 46% said that tuition assistance from an employer was a motivating factor.
  • Lack of diversity remains another major obstacle: 90% of respondents believe it is important to increase diversity in the cyber workforce.
  • Pay disparities have been a major challenge to diversity recognized by respondents – 28% believe that minorities who earn lower wages than their skilled colleagues are the biggest barrier impacting a diverse cyber workforce.
  • In total, 81% of respondents believe that toxic work environments would prevent them from exploring a career in cybersecurity. Of those surveyed likely to pursue a career in cybersecurity, 44% say toxic work environments hamper their decision to explore careers in cybersecurity.
  • According to respondents, the two main actions needed to improve cybersecurity are to invest in cybersecurity internally and to increase the number of people trained in cybersecurity.
  • Problem solving (81%) and communication (72%) were rated as the most “essential” cybersecurity skills for all respondents.

Champlain College is a nationally recognized leader in cybersecurity and digital forensics training and is home to the Senator Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation & Cybersecurity. It has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber ​​Defense Education by the United States National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. With twelve fully online cybersecurity programs and on-campus majors and minors to choose from, our programs offer cutting-edge education and a hands-on virtual learning app to prepare future cyber leaders for the job market.

Survey methodology
Champlain College Online commissioned the Adult Viewpoints 2021: The Cybersecurity Skills Gap and Barriers to Entry survey, conducted online by national market research firm Full Circle Research. The survey examined why an industry that is expected to grow 33% through 2030 with guaranteed job security has a large skills gap. It was conducted online with a random sample of 1,011 adults aged 20 to 55. Respondents were screened to ensure they were employees and US citizens.

On Champlain College In line
As one of the premier online programs of United States, we are proud to be part of the distinguished history of regionally accredited nonprofits Champlain College, founded in Burlington, Vermont in 1878.

Champlain College Online is systematically classified by American News and World Report as a leader in online higher education. Our nationally recognized programs address industry trends and critical skills gaps. We serve over 3,000 students through over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, stackable certificates and credentials in high-demand fields like cybersecurity, business, healthcare and information technology.

Through our workforce development program called truED, we are partnering with some of the country’s leading businesses and organizations in a bold reinvention of workplace learning that empowers employees to thrive and for organizations to grow. For more information, visit

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