The (ISC)² Foundation recently announced the launch of the (ISC)² Young Professionals program, which is aimed at attracting more young people to the information security field.

The program is open to aspiring and active cyber security professionals age 35 and under, whether they're still in secondary school, recently graduated from university, or new to the workforce. Services available through the program include mentoring, specialized education opportunities, networking opportunities, and career support and guidance.

"(ISC)² said the Young Professionals Group is in direct response to the widening gap between the demand for and supply of skilled information security professionals and to the absence of an existing effective pathway for young people into the profession," writes Computer Weekly's Warwick Ashford.

The (ISC)² 2011 Global Information Workforce Study found that, while 4.2 million information security professionals will be employed by government and private industry by 2015, less than 10 percent of the existing workforce is under the age of 29. The (ISC)² 2012 Career Impact Survey found that information security professionals enjoy job stability, high salaries and upwards mobility.

"Information security is often misperceived as a 'dull' profession, says Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)²," Infosecurity reports. "What the Young Professionals program does is focus the pitch, and demonstrate to aspiring professionals that infosec is actually a challenging field rife with 'gamesmanship' -- think Spy vs. Spy, he says. 'There’s a lot of glamor that’s in the profession that kids don’t normally see unless you begin to expose them to it,' he told Infosecurity."

"Getting young people on track to join the information security profession is critical to our future," John Colley, CISSP, managing director for EMEA of (ISC)², said in a statement. "The Young Professionals group will not only help young people learn about the benefits of a career in this field, but it will also help the profession gain much better insight into the needs of the younger generation and how best to engage them."