TALLAHASSEE, FL — During the National HBCU Week Conference convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House, Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced a collaboration with IBM to help establish a virtual FAMU Cybersecurity Leadership Center.
FAMU is one of 20 schools working with IBM to create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.
“Florida A&M University is honored to partner with IBM on this groundbreaking initiative to add our students and graduates to the ranks of leaders in the cybersecurity workforce. Our students are a largely untapped community of scholars who will infuse new energy and ingenuity into this industry. I am eager to see this initiative take shape and grow in the years to come,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
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.
“We are very proud that FAMU has been selected as an IBM HBCU Cybersecurity Leadership Center and of its support to assist us in building our infrastructure that will propel our students in our new cybersecurity programs to leadership in this field,” said Richard A. Aló, Ph.D., dean of the FAMU College of Science and Technology. “It is a great benefit to our entire campus but especially to our Computer and Information Sciences Department and their new cybersecurity BS and MS programs as IBM gives access to top-notch education, technology, and industry professionals and we, at FAMU, assist the country in democratizing this field.”
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 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: 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
“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.”