A new coalition, led by Rochester Institute of Technology, is paving the way for military service members and first responders to transition into high-demand civilian cybersecurity careers.
RIT will lead eight universities in developing certificate programs to build and validate focused skills in governance, risk and compliance.
The pilot program is backed by $2.5 million in funding from the National Security Agency, which will make the training free for transitioning veterans and first responders.
The workforce development program comes at a time when cybercrime continues to grow, but there are millions of unfilled cyber jobs globally.
“We have this deep and broad need for cybersecurity workers, and we have about 200,000 transitioning military members every year who have military service that could be congruent to these careers,” said Justin Pelletier, director of the Cyber Range and Training Center at RIT. “They have a deeper understanding of what right looks like, and they are used to assessing needs and solving security problems. Maybe they don’t have the right vocabulary, but after five or 10 years in the military, they have the foundation.”
The certificates will prepare participants for careers in auditing and compliance. An IT auditor role yields an average annual salary of more than $100,000 and represents approximately 8,600 open positions across the country. Participants could also take on jobs as a cybersecurity consultant or penetration and vulnerability tester.
This spring, RIT plans to offer an introductory Governance, Risk and Compliance certification program that provides training, knowledge and skills aligned with the CMMC curriculum.
NSA funding supports scholarships for qualified participants, which will lead to 250 new certifications. The program funding comes through the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program, of which RIT is a designated institution.
The seven other coalition institutions are University at Albany, Anne Arundel Community College, Louisiana State University, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Iowa State University, Norfolk State University and University of North Florida. Thirty-six industry partners have also signed on for the workforce development program.
To learn more, go to the coalition website.
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