Dec 15 2022

IBM Expands Partnership with HBCUs to Create Future Cybersecurity Workers

Cybersecurity Leadership Centers aim to train underrepresented students to fill a growing number of open jobs.

The partnership between IBM and historically Black colleges and universities has expanded to include a total of 20 institutions where Cybersecurity Leadership Centers will be established.

IBM announced the first six leadership centers in May, then revealed a second round of partner institutions in the fall. The full lineup includes a total of 20 HBCUs in 11 different states that will co-create the centers to “create talent for employers and opportunities for students,” the company says.

There are nearly 800,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States alone, according to Cyberseek, and underrepresented populations make up a small percentage of the existing workforce. A report from Aspen Digital and the Aspen Tech Policy Hub shows that Black workers made up just 9 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.

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    Students attending the HBCUs with Cybersecurity Leadership Centers will have the opportunity to learn from a specially designed curriculum created in partnership with IBM and get access to immersive learning opportunities that include participating in a simulated cyberattack. They will also have the chance to work with IBM software and take advantage of professional development opportunities by speaking with IBM experts or exploring internships and job openings.

    “Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital,” Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM’s vice president of corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives , said in a news release.

    Here is the complete list of HBCUs where Cybersecurity Leadership Centers are being established:

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