During the National HBCU Week Conference convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House, IBM announced its collaboration with 20 Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) to help them establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.
With 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., the need for expertise is critical: According to a recent IBM Security study, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.
"Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That's especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital," said Justina Nixon-Saintil, vice president, IBM corporate social responsibility and ESG. "The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we're co-creating with Historically Black College and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education; it also builds on our pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years."
IBM will collaborate with the following 20 HBCUs across 11 states to co-create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers, helping to create talent for employers and opportunities for students. (Six of these collaborations were previously announced in May*):
- Alabama – Alabama A&M University, Talladega College, Tuskegee University
- Florida – Edward Waters University, Florida A&M University
- Georgia – Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University*
- Louisiana – Grambling State University, Southern University System*, Xavier University of LA*
- Maryland – Bowie State University, Morgan State University*
- Mississippi – Alcorn State University
- North Carolina – North Carolina A&T State University*, North Carolina Central University
- South Carolina – South Carolina State University*, Voorhees University
- Texas – Texas Southern University
- Virginia – Norfolk State University
- West Virginia – West Virginia State University
Through IBM's collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM Cloud-hosted software, and professional development resources, all at no cost to them.
This includes access to:
- Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each participating HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal—an IBM client offering —including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.
- Immersive learning experience: Faculty and students of participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security's Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs' faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.
- Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud
- Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts, and discover IBM internships and job openings
As part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, IBM's education portfolio takes a personalized, diverse, and deep approach to STEM career readiness.
IBM's pro bono programs range from education and support for teens at public schools and universities, to career readiness resources for aspiring professionals and job seekers. IBM believes that education is best achieved through the collaboration of the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
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