It is important that before we talk about what age to get into cybersecurity, we should take a recap of a few subject matter previously published.
In our previous articles, we talked about, Introduction to cybersecurity, to allow you understand what cybersecurity is all about, then we progressed by diving into the various professional fields for you to know, before getting into cybersecurity, then we gave an insight of the Goals (triad) of cybersecurity, and further summarized the content with the degree requirements or not, before getting into cybersecurity.
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The intent, is to give a clear insight of these various subject matter, in other for you as an individual be it a beginner or professional, to understand and digest the profession and decide on the choice you make, to advance in your career.
The need to adopt the hierarchical approach to things, makes it more streamline, and clear understanding without jumping steps or skipping any context that is important in the profession. These articles, will summarize the foundational steps to get into cybersecurity, and make you advance in your career fast.
This is our goal, and that is the purpose of our trajectory in this industry. Ok enough of the stories, let’s talk about the age to get into cybersecurity.
There is a popular saying that goes by:
“Age is just a number, and we only stop learning when we are in the grave.” – Unknown.
With no doubt that is absolutely true, we never stop learning until we are in the grave, but the fact that is left aside, is “the frequency of assimilation, and information processing.” Yes, our body is not only what gets weak as we age, but also our brain muscles adapt to the change that comes with age as well.
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The processing of information and attention span of a 16-year-old kid, can’t be the same with that of a 50-year-old man. While, we can’t stop reading, the adrenaline rush and youthful energy of a 16-year-old gives him the advantage to move fast, while that of a 50-year-old man with his life long experience, gives him the ability to make wiser decisions.
However, in cybersecurity we need both Energy, Long-attention-Span, fast-movement, and most importantly ability to make wiser decisions. It is no doubt that, the first three (Energy, Long-attention-Span, fast-movement), can be found in a 16-year-old kid, while the last (ability to make wiser decisions), can be found in a 50-year-old man, as a result of years of professional experiences.
In big cooperation’s or most organizations, the first three (Energy, Long-attention-Span, fast-movement), is mostly important as these organization deal with lots of applications, clients, customers, or even big-data.
Therefore, production is on high demand, as most companies make decisive steps quarterly on new emerging products or even events. That being said, it is a reason why there is a large hunt in the industry, for younger seeds than older trees.
That now brings us to the what is the right age to get into cybersecurity?
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET INTO CYBERSECURITY?
There are no age limit sounds like a lack of total honesty or misinformation. It is important to define clearly what is the right age to get into cybersecurity, as that will give the younger generation heads up, and the older generation right choice, on the path that is suitable to their age, and also make them grow faster in the career.
However, before we dive into the age thing, let’s get a world statistical data on educational system world-wide.
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), data on ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education), 2011, which has been implemented in the EU data collections since 2014, classified the stages of education.
Image: ISCED-detailed-educational Level.
The four stages include the following Early childhood education, primary education, secondary education, and tertiary education.
The table data below shows the average global age, of the various stages of education. Although this may vary depending on the country location.
Image source: Wikipedia
HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION ANALYSIS:
The data above, shows that between the age 16-18, persons are already in High School (College in some countries), to certainly earn a diploma, at that age. Exception are prodigy kids (Unicorn kids with exceptional brains), who get into between the age of 14-15, but sticking to standards, at age 16, a kid is expected to get into college, to earn a diploma which usually takes 3-years probably at age 19, they should already have a diploma in their portfolio.
“It is deduced that age 19 a kid should be done with their high school and earn their Diploma.”
TERTIARY EDUCATION ANALYSIS:
The tertiary education analysis, indicates that a kid can get into the university at age 18 (unicorn kids), and for the normal kids the baseline being 19-years of age, putting the perspective of course credit hours of 120-units, and an average year study of 4-years, a teen trying getting into cybersecurity with a qualification of bachelor’s degree, will graduate between the age of 22-years and 23-years. When we analyse the statistics, we can deduce that at age 23-years a person with a degree can get into cybersecurity.
SUMMARY OF THE MINIMUM AGE FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND TERTIARY EDUCATION ANALYSIS FOR CYBERSECURITY CAREER:
The Job-hunting industry requires a minimum of diploma in some cases, and in most cases a minimum of degree qualification. When we put this into perspective, the minimum age from our analysis with a diploma degree and bachelor’s degree being between the age 18 years and 23-years, and haven obtained your qualification it is a perfect Minimum Age to get into cybersecurity.
We have to get the global mean age of retirement and analyse data and facts, while considering the number of years it will take to get a minimum of diploma or bachelors degree.
According to tradingeconomics, the average global age of retirement falls between 65years and 67years, considering 65-years as the baseline, and considering that it takes an average of four (4) years, to acquire a degree, that makes the age number 61-years quite late to consider getting into cybersecurity, for someone who decides to acquire a degree or diploma to get into the profession.
Another factor, we have to consider is the minimum number of years, of work experience required by an employing firm, in some cases most jobs will say a minimum of two (2) years’ work experience, and if we deduct the two years from 61-years, that gives us an average of 59-years left. If our analysis is correct, by the time you get into a university at 59-years, acquire a diploma or degree after four (4) years, and work experience of 2-years, that means you have approached your retirement age, which makes it not a feasible number to start your career in cybersecurity.
Taking from a marginal point of view, for someone with no degree, wishing to get into cybersecurity at 50-years of age should be considered a fitting maximum benchmark. The reason; if they decide to get a degree, which takes Four (4)-years, and a minimum of Two (2)-years working experience, that means at 56-years of age they should be fully practising cybersecurity, and that will give them ample time of 9-years to fully enjoy the career, if we are considering age 65-years to be the benchmark for retirement.
OVERALL SUMMARY FOR BOTH MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AGE CONSIDERING A DEGREE TO GET INTO CYBERSECURITY:
In overall we summarize the criteria to be considered for minimum and maximum age, in getting into a cybersecurity with a degree.
In our analysis, for high school education, tertiary institution the minimum age, should be between 18 years and 23-years.
While considering our retirement analysis, and other career requirements an age benchmark of 50-years to be the maximum.
It is imperative for you to note, that our analysis is solely on using a diploma or degree, for those who wish to start from the foundation to get into cybersecurity.
Other mid-career switch for those who already have a degree in other professions, and wish to take postgraduate studies like M.Sc. or Ph.D., were not considered during this analysis.
However, for those who wish to switch from other professions the maximum (50-years) benchmark still applies, but there is no minimum to be considered, as at different age, different people obtain their M.Sc. or Ph.D. As long as the period they obtained their advanced degree to do a career switch, doesn’t exceed the maximum benchmark (50-years old), or close to the retirement age (65-years old), they still would have longer years to practising and enjoying the profession.
Without A Degree the minimum age of getting into cybersecurity should be 18-years considering that it is the legal age to get into prison if found committing a crime (As there are cases where people who learnt hacking and gone rogue). Also, any age below the age of retirement, but advisable to consider the maximum benchmark (50-years), for foundational degree acquisition (It is the maximum age for those who wish to acquire a degree to get into cybersecurity).
Although most persons will consider this route, there are limitations, as certain cybersecurity certification, require a minimum of 5-years practising in Cybersecurity, to obtain them. This makes it a wrong approach if we consider the maximum benchmark (50-years), as other certification (non-advanced), might only get entry level job positions.
It should be noted that by the time they gather the experience required to take advanced certifications (Considering the 50-year maximum benchmark), they might be approaching the retirement age, and if they eventually get the advance certification, higher positions such as directors require degree and some even demanding advance degrees such as M.Sc. or Ph.D.
In summary for both degree and none-degree, a minimum age to get into cybersecurity is between 18-years and 22-years, and a maximum age using degree being 50-years, and for none-degree any age below the retirement age (With other factors such as position to get into, and the type of certification they can take to get into cybersecurity).
Disclaimer: The analysis was conducted researching various statistical data online, with data analyzed dated as recent as the year 2022. In the future this article might be void, if factors such as retirement age, or requirements to get into cybersecurity is changed. If these two factors still remain the same, the article can be referred to, for those who intend to get into cybersecurity.
Put your comments below in the comment section on your thoughts about this.