Diversity is the missing key in the cybersecurity field.

Over 209,000 cybersecurity jobs are open in the U.S, according to the Peninsula Press’ analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the cybersecurity field, only 12 percent of the jobs are filled by both African Americans Hispanics. Women make up 10 percent.

Many leaders in cybersecurity admit that there needs to be a culture shift in their field. Hiring and equipping minorities in cybersecurity would lead to a larger workforce. One solution to diversify the field is to interest students in cybersecurity at a young age.

Computer science classes is the least popular extracurricular class out offered in high schools. Only 19 percent of U.S. high school students enroll for computer science classes, according to the National Science Foundation. Students are also discouraged to enroll. Only 29 states count computer science classes toward graduation requirements, according to Insight Sources.

Exposing girls and students of color to cybersecurity at a young age is crucial to increase their confidence, and strengthen their desire to belong in the white, male dominated world of cybersecurity.

See our infographic below and learn more facts about diversity & cybersecurity!