TAG Cyber, the only cybersecurity analyst firm dedicated to eliminating the one-size-fits-all, pay-to-play analysis and consulting, today announced that Kean University Center for Cybersecurity is one of the first collaborators for its Cyber Corps program, a cybersecurity apprenticeship grant program available to 4-year colleges and universities. The partnership brings the Cyber Corps program to an initial five undergraduate students, with 15 interns across other universities.
We sat down with Shawn Hopkins, Executive Vice President of Cyber Security Services for TAG Cyber to discuss the cybersecurity talent landscape and what this announcement means for students looking to enter or advance in cyber:
There's still a large talent shortage in cybersecurity. How should the industry mobilize and work together to combat the shortage?
"Industry needs to be more supportive by providing resources and training opportunities to students and educational institutions. The focus should be on practical cyber knowledge in business not on technical aspects of a particular technology. Internships that focus on risk, analysis and understanding of threats to the business value of an environment is really lacking. The industry as a whole should be collaborating on creating apprenticeship tracts for the various cyber roles within industry and funding university programs that will provide students with a career path and the proper education to succeed."
Tell us what this collaboration between TAG Cyber and Kean University Center means for students.
"Students are getting insights into what will be required of them once they are in the workforce. Kean is able to enhance their curriculum and student experience. Universities do well on teaching theory and technical skills. Our program provides the application of that knowledge and helps break down some of the myths and misconceptions of what cyber security is about."
What advice would you give to young people looking to enter into their first phase of cybersecurity education?
"Look for programs that offer different academic tracts. There are plenty of opportunities for multiple skills in the market today. Your first phase should deal with foundational principles and a well-rounded introduction into the different areas that help fill the cyber security roles within business. It’s important to have an interest in what you pursue so even if you are not technical, you may find a tract that fits your strengths."
There are so many places to go in cybersecurity. Some technical, some non-technical. What attributes do you believe future successful cybersecurity pros should have?
"Cyber security is no longer just an operational problem. It is a business problem and everyone is involved. Having general business skills and understanding “value” that functions bring to enhance the business is important. Communication skills are also another area where cyber professionals can enhance their standing. Being able to break down a complex idea and explain how and why it is important to defend against is invaluable to business leaders and managers."
Where can the industry go for more information about TAG's Cyber Corps program?