Research explores minority representation within the cybersecurity field

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A new (ISC)2 report measures minority representation in the U.S. cybersecurity profession and aims to understand the challenges these highly skilled individuals experience.

Average salary by minority group (In $1,000 USD)

minority representation cybersecurity field

“While minority representation within the cybersecurity field (26%) is slightly higher than the overall U.S. minority workforce (21%), our study did reveal that racial and ethnic minorities tend to hold non-managerial positions, and pay discrepancies, especially for minority women, is a challenge,” said (ISC)2 CEO David Shearer.

“In order to build strong, adequately staffed cybersecurity teams, employers – and the cybersecurity profession as a whole – must make cybersecurity a rewarding and welcoming career for everyone. Understanding the challenges our profession faces related to diversity is a critical first step to accomplishing that goal and ultimately addressing the widening cybersecurity workforce gap.”

Percentage who received a raise in the past year

minority representation cybersecurity field

Findings are based on survey responses from 9,500 U.S. cybersecurity professionals. Key insights from the study include:

  • 23% of minority cybersecurity professionals hold a role of director or above compared to 30% of their Caucasian peers
  • 62% of minorities in cybersecurity have obtained a master’s degree or higher, compared to 50% of professionals who identified as White or Caucasian
  • On average, a cybersecurity professional of color earns $115,000, while the overall U.S. cybersecurity workforce average is $122,000
  • 32% of cybersecurity professionals of color report that they have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace
  • In the U.S., 17% of the cybersecurity workforce who identify as a minority are female, proportionally exceeding overall female representation (14%) by a margin of 3%
  • To foster diversity in the workplace, 49% of minority cybersecurity professionals said mentorship programs are very important.