The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals has been an industry issue for some time, as companies try to keep ahead of, or at least keep up with, fast-moving and ubiquitous threats. And this hiring area has experienced a dearth of females, just like other parts of IT, which is becoming more of known problem, both for employers and employees.
Citing demand for cybersecurity professionals that is at four times the entire IT job market and a cybersecurity workforce that is only 11 percent female, two professional organizations that are focused on providing technology skills to some underserved and un-reached populations are launching a pilot program to help change these statistics.
Cybrary, the provider of free online IT and cybersecurity training that launched earlier this year, and Women in Technology (WIT) aim to share expertise in order to help advance women and girls in the IT and cybersecurity industries.
“Our mission is to provide comprehensive IT and cyber security training options for underserved and disadvantaged people seeking to break into cyber security or advance in their current jobs,” said Ryan Corey, co-founder of Cybrary, in a statement. “Our platform will assist Women in Technology in advancing their mission by enabling WIT members and protégés to access our growing catalog of free IT and cyber security courses and content, as well as actively track the progress of participants.”
The pilot got its start after Phyllis Kolmus, WIT board member and immediate former president, contacted Corey in search of training resources for WIT’s CyberGirls participants, both for mentors and teams.
To begin, Cybrary plans to provide unlimited licenses for its enterprise training platform to several WIT programs. WIT’s current plans include using Cybrary to support a collaboration between WIT’s Workforce Development Committee (WDC) and CyberSecurity Special Interest Group (CyberSIG) to assist WIT members and their guests in optimizing their careers and in planning career transitions with significant hands-on training in CyberSecurity. WIT will also use Cybrary materials to expand Girls in Technology CyberGirls training for the CyberPatriot High School Competition.
WIT’s Young Professionals have also been welcomed to Cybrary’s computer labs to support their new Cornerstone initiative to bring computer literacy to refugee women, enhancing their integration into American society and improving their ability to find good jobs to support their families.
Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+