Some 58 per cent of the children in Singapore are interested in building their cyber skills, with 43 per cent of them hopeful that their interest will help develop their careers in the future, according to the findings of a study by Intel Security.
This growing interest in the technology sector contrasts with the trends in the past five to 10 years, which saw graduates looking to other seemingly more lucrative industries like finance for their choice careers.
The survey on the online behaviours and social networking habits of 501 Singapore children aged between 8 to 16 further revealed 35 per cent of these children already dedicate one to five hours a week to developing these skills.
In testimony of their passion for the field, four in 10 (39 per cent) of these children are picking up the requisite skills on their own. For the rest, 36 per cent of them learn their cyber skills from school, while the remaining quarter (24 per cent) follow online courses.
These budding technology experts also possess a strong moral compass for safeguarding other individuals. When asked how they would use the cyber skills they picked up, 73 per cent wanted to protect the money and privacy of individuals from being stolen by cyber criminals.
Nearly half of the children surveyed also wanted to protect companies from cyber attacks (45 per cent), or other people from terrorists (43 per cent). Thirty-five per cent wanted to protect their country from attacks by other countries.
Among the 501 parents surveyed for their opinions on their children’s aspirations, 84 per cent see cyber security training as an important skill their children have to learn so they can stay digitally safe.
They agree that possessing strong cyber skills is the first step towards digital safety, achieved by familiarising their children with new technologies and its developments.
Parents also believe these cyber skills would be beneficial both in higher education and to the job prospects of their children, while allowing them to flex their problem-solving and digital expression abilities.
The results of this study are part of a larger online survey of 9,017 parents, as well as 8,026 children and teens aged 8 to 16, commissioned by Intel Security and conducted by MSI International.
It involved respondents from 11 countries, namely United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore and India.