Emiratis at the Emirates Group stand during the Careers UAE being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre and Exhibition halls Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

DUBAI: Young adults in the UAE are more likely to consider a career in cybersecurity than their peers elsewhere in the world, a survey suggests.

The survey, commissioned by Ratheron, Forcepoint and the US National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), also indicates young Emiratis tend to know more about cybersecurity issues and appropriate actions than their global peers, and believe cybersecurity is important.

The survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the report ‘Securing Our Future: Cybersecurity and the Millennial Workforce’, questioned 3,359 people aged between 18 and 26 across nine countries on four continents.

Of the Emirati respondents, 67 per cent were more likely to consider a cybersecurity career than they were a year ago, compared with 48 per cent of respondents in the region and 39 per cent globally.

A total of 64 per cent of the Emirati respondents had attended or sought out cybersecurity job fairs, and 60 per cent of those had sought out mentors in the field.

Emiratis showed a much greater trust in their parents than their global peers, with 96 per cent being confident their parents could guide them into cybersecurity jobs, compared with 79 per cent regionally and 57 per cent globally. Nearly three quarters of Emiratis said the first person to talk to them about cybersecurity was a parent.

Most preferred to work for either a government (81 per cent) or military organisation (79 per cent), rather than a private company.

Shahzad Zafar, Cybersecurity director, Raytheon International Inc, said, “The UAE has long recognised the importance of equipping young Emiratis with the tools and skills to keep up with modern day opportunities and challenges.

“The survey demonstrates the enhanced efforts the UAE has put in place to build the next generation of cyber defenders and safeguard its cyber future.”

Seven in ten of the Emirati respondents who were more likely to choose a cybersecurity career believed the internet should be more secure, compared with 65 per cent regionally and 52 per cent globally.

Dr Tod Laursen, interim president of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, whose students have worked with Raytheon’s Cyber Academy. said, “We highly value cybersecurity as a subject to prepare young people to navigate through today’s environment of threats and capitalise on opportunities in the field by providing a solid cyber-related curriculum.

“The results of Raytheon’s survey underline the progress being made and we are confident that we will see more and more young Emiratis pursue promising careers in cybersecurity.”