New research suggests that a majority of UK parents don’t know how to advise their children on a career in cybersecurity, potentially holding them back from pursuing a career in the sector.

The findings, from cybersecurity training provider SANS Institute, suggests that 63 per cent of parents in the UK would either not be able to answer questions on how to get a job in the cybersecurity industry or didn’t know if they would be able to.

SANS Institute said it believes this lack of knowledge contributes to the wider skills gap in the sector.

“These findings should be seen as a wakeup call to the cyber security industry that it needs to do more to promote itself,” said James Lyne, CTO of SANS Institute.

“We need to ensure that the 72 per cent of parents who haven’t considered a career in cybersecurity for their children become aware of both the economic rewards and the job satisfaction offered by our industry.

“The only people who can really spread that message are those working in the industry already.”

Almost 70 per cent of parents in the study said they believed that cybersecurity is taught in some form at school.

“The fact is that as a computer science teacher, I have struggled to enrol students into my classes, regardless of background and academic ability, in particular girls,” added Nazleen Rao, Head of IT and Computer Science, Skinner’s Academy, a London school heavily involved in the Cyber Discovery programme.

“Parents still have a strong influence over their children’s learning choices, but they don’t always know what doors computer science can open up for them.”