As the world become more interconnected, the need for protecting data grows. The cybersecurity industry is booming, and companies, both large and small alike, are looking to cybersecurity professionals for the protection they need. It’s critical that we have a powerful workforce to keep up.
In Iowa, many colleges and universities have responded to the demand by enhancing existing curriculum and adding new curriculum that’s molded around the need for cybersecurity. They seek guidance from professionals who are leaders in the cybersecurity industry to advise them on their courses. Who better to provide input than experts who know exactly what qualities and education the industry is looking for in an employee?
How One Individual is Getting Involved
Dave Nelson, Pratum’s President & CEO is one of the experts providing input. Nelson serves as the Co-Chair of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the DMACC IT Partnership and has since the subcommittee was formed. This subcommittee has established its goals: identify key technology skills that the industry needs to grow a powerful workforce, provide a pathway for people who want to further their education past a two-year degree, and attract/retain cybersecurity professionals in the state of Iowa. “Students who feel like they have support in Iowa are more likely to stay here,” Nelson says.
The cybersecurity subcommittee’s efforts have led to the creation of the Iowa Cyber Hub™ - a partnership between DMACC and Iowa State University that is geared towards cybersecurity. A well-suited name for this group that acts as a central location for cybersecurity resources. On the hub’s website, there are pathways for all levels of education: high school students, high school grads, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. The hub fosters alliances with established cybersecurity professionals and partner schools through internships, training programs, and other projects.
Nelson’s contributions aren’t limited to the cybersecurity subcommittee. He’s spoken to the information assurance student group, and he mentors students who seek direction from established professionals. His most recent involvement is partnering with Drake University and other cybersecurity professionals to advise the college’s new post-baccalaureate certificate in cybersecurity.
You Can Make a Difference, Too
If you’re an information or cybersecurity professional looking to make a difference in the education of the future workforce, here are just a few ways to get involved:
- Contact your local colleges and universities to see if they are needing members of an advisory board, subcommittee or other type of group that influences curriculum
- Volunteer to be a guest speaker
- Mentor students & advise them on their studies and coursework
- Participate in surveys/polls requesting the needs of an employer and employees
The need for strong cybersecurity professionals won’t subside. As long as data is entering the world of the internet and technology, it will always require protection. It is the wisdom and guidance from established professionals that’s driving the future of cybersecurity and its workforce. With the proper tools and support, future cybersecurity professionals will be able to rise to the challenges of cybersecurity by reducing risks and keeping data safe.