With the industry cyber skills gap widening, it is the role of organizations like Cisco to help foster education and grow the next generation of talent in the communities that we live, work, and serve. The persistent and everchanging landscape of cybersecurity challenges will require a new set of diverse talent. It will literally take a village and require the action of many.
By connecting our own researchers and developers with academia, governments, customers, and industry partners we hope to facilitate the collaboration and exploration of new and promising talent and technologies with strong societal, technological, and business impact. We must give young people in our communities the proper exposure to these pertinent global challenges and arm them with new skillsets throughout their educational journeys.
I’m personally inspired to do more when I see my fellow colleagues and industry peers act. With that spirit in mind, from my adopted home state of North Carolina, I am proud to share a few examples of those empowering young people in their communities and taking aim at the talent shortage.
Through funding and collaboration, Cisco is honored to help accelerate the following programs:
- North Carolina State University has founded the Secure Computing Institute (SCI), a focal point for research and education efforts in cybersecurity and privacy at the university to support the cybersecurity education needs of industry and government.
- North Carolina Central University is developing several cybersecurity Initiatives to engage the faculty, students, and the community. The initiatives include scholarship funding and the creation of a cybersecurity minor for students and a cybersecurity certificate program for the broader community.
- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is developing and piloting formal and informal engagement activities for K-12 teachers and their students, especially targeted to under-resourced and underrepresented groups in cybersecurity, computer science, and artificial intelligence.
- Duke University runs a 10-week project-based summer coding experience for undergraduate students. Students participate on small project teams, defining the projects and developing IT products and solutions, while mentored by tech professionals from Duke and sponsoring organizations. Projects range from combating food insecurity on campus to improving cybersecurity through community engagement.
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will broaden its College of Engineering’s cybersecurity, data science and Internet of Things research footprint. The investment will support undergraduate scholarships and targeted initiatives including hackathons, participation in the annual Women in Cybersecurity Conference, and coding-related instruction.
Cybersecurity is a team sport. When a community rises, we all rise. We are honored to support these important programs, ensuring that the next generation of talent has cybersecurity expertise and is a priority for all.
I am encouraged and inspired by these innovative educational programs,
and I challenge all my readers to follow in their footsteps.