IBM Joins Forces with 20 HBCUs to Open Cybersecurity Training Centers

Amy Larsen DeCarlo – Principal Analyst, Security and Data Center Services

Summary Bullets:

• IBM added 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) cybersecurity partners as the company looks to help train and certify new industry professionals.

• The initiative is part of IBM’s broader, pro bono effort to foster science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in high schools and colleges.

At the National HBCU Week Conference in Washington DC (US), IBM said it is adding 14 new colleges and university partners to its program announced in May 2022 to train students to become cybersecurity professionals. This brings the total number of IBM’s partners to 20 schools in 11 states.

At the conference hosted by the US Department of Education and the White House, IBM said it will work with the universities to jointly develop and open cybersecurity training centers. IBM will provide the schools with coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, IBM Cloud-hosted software, certifications, and professional development resources for free. The higher educational US institution partners include Alabama A&M University, Talladega College, Tuskegee University (Alabama); Edward Waters University, Florida A&M University (Florida); Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University (Georgia); Grambling State University, Southern University System, Xavier University of Louisiana (Louisiana); Bowie State University, Morgan State University (Maryland); Alcorn State University (Mississippi); North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University (North Carolina); South Carolina State University, Voorhees University (South Carolina); Texas Southern University (Texas); Norfolk State University (Virginia); and West Virginia State University (West Virginia).

IBM will create a customized Security Learning Academy portal for each individual institution, which will include courses to help the universities and colleges expand their cybersecurity curricula. The schools will also have access to IBM SkillsBuild, which offers specialized professional development resources. Faculty and students can also participate in immersive experiences including a simulated cyberattack through IBM’s Security Command Centers. They will be trained on incident response and will get additional consultative support from IBM personnel.

This comes at a time when IBM and other technology companies are trying to increase diversity in the industry while also filling open cybersecurity positions. According to the cybersecurity professionals member organization ISC², there are as many as 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally.

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