Helping Academia Succeed So Cybersecurity Can Thrive

The future of technology is at risk as there are not enough skilled cybersecurity workers to fulfill the demands for keeping digital technology secure, private, and safe to use.  Some estimates predict there will be over 3 million unfilled positions by 2021.  This shortage undermines security across the landscape of devices, applications, and services and affects every connected person across the globe.

Academia plays a crucial role in addressing the long term needs by preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.  Current efforts are falling short as gaps and challenges exist between education institution's curriculums and what employers require in the available talent pool. 

The University of Phoenix has established an advisory board to help the College of Business and Information Technology understand and address the problems to prepare students for cybersecurity job opportunities that help the entire digital ecosystem become trustworthy.  The university focuses on servicing people currently in the workforce who are seeking continuing education to pivot into new roles, such as cybersecurity, or advance in their career path to positions of greater impact.  For the security industry, this is an important community that can greatly contribute with a diverse set of experiences, backgrounds, and foundational skills.  Preparing these motivated people for success is vital for cybersecurity.

I am honored to be asked and excited to be a member of this advisory group.  The team is discussing key issues, current trends, employer needs, shifts in the industry, and overall best practices.  We must all help bolster the growth and capabilities of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals; they are the ones who will be guarding our future.  Now is the time to prepare cybersecurity students and professionals seeking greater responsibility on their journey.  Their work and achievements will greatly contribute to making the connected world more secure for everyone.  Without well a prepared workforce, cyber threats will continue to reign.  Academia must succeed for cybersecurity to thrive.

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