At a time when it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of Q4, planning for a successful 2020, and juggling holiday craziness, it’s easy to feel like we are running in circles and to lose sight of the bigger picture. This week a few of us at IDMWORKS had a unique opportunity to step outside of our daily routine and focus on a different perspective of Identity and Access Management.
On Tuesday, November 19, we spent the day with over 3,000 students in the greater Miami area served by Junior Achievement at the inaugural JA Inspire Career Exploration day. These students were engaged, genuinely interested in learning about different career opportunities. Many of them even had a little bit of fun playing our Kahoot! (interactive quiz) designed to pique their interest in cybersecurity and the critical role it plays in our everyday lives.
It’s no secret that the cybersecurity industry at large, and the IAM space specifically has a severe shortage of qualified workers to fill roles today — and that the skills gap is only increasing. Developer, software engineer, architect… these roles can be nebulous and frankly, not that exciting for many middle schoolers (or even adults for that matter). Helping to engage and educate students, making connections between what we do in the IAM industry and the services, devices, and applications they use every day helps create a concrete understanding not just of what cybersecurity is, but what cybersecurity workers do each day and the impact their work has.
The time spent supporting events like JA Inspire fosters a wider knowledge of our industry, inspires future IAM architects and leaders, and helps ensure that the skills gap narrows and our talent pipeline is healthy. Given the critical shortage we face today (a projected 3.5million cybersecurity positions going unfilled globally in 2021), this is exactly the type of long-range mentoring activity the entire industry should be engaged in.
Thank you to JA for putting on this amazing event and inviting IDMWORKS to participate in such a transformative experience for these teens. We look forward to many other opportunities to engage students and hopefully spark a passion for our little corner of the cybersecurity world.