Listen to this article here
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics recently announced a $20M commitment from Google’s philanthropy, Google.org, to help thousands of students pursue careers in the high-demand field of cybersecurity.
Last year, cyber attacks increased by 38%, placing critical infrastructure such as governments, hospitals and electrical grids, as well as businesses at greater risk, while searches for “cybersecurity jobs” reached an all-time high in the United States and globally.
Despite the demand, there are currently 650,000+ unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., and a gap in access to the training needed to fill these positions.
The collaboration between Google.org and the Consortium will help expand or launch cybersecurity clinics at 20 higher education institutions, including HBCUs, across the U.S.
Similar to clinics in medicine and law, cybersecurity clinics enable students to deliver pro bono digital security services to help under-resourced community organizations defend themselves against cyber attacks; preparing students for futures in cybersecurity by giving them hands-on, real world experience.
“When you’re talking about poverty in the deep south, having a career, especially in high-paying jobs or in-demand skill sets, can be life-changing,” said Dr. Kevin Harris, Program Chair for Computational and Information Sciences/Exec Dir Cybersecurity DEI Clinic at Stillman College.
Harris continued, “Even being exposed to cybersecurity and technology can have a significant impact. Many students in Alabama come from agricultural communities and farming families, where college would not have been an option even 10 to 20 years ago, but now with emerging technologies and the need for cybersecurity, they have the opportunity to pursue higher education.” He concluded, “There is still much work to be done to diversify the cybersecurity field and we want to keep moving the needle forward. We want to serve as a hub for HBCUs and bring others into the clinic model.”
More information and instructions for how institutions can apply can also be found at cyberclinics.withgoogle.com.