Now more than ever, cybersecurity is a top-of-mind issue for business, students, and even United States presidential candidates. With billions of bytes of data connecting to the Internet every day, our information needs more protection and security than ever before.

For more than 47 percent of businesses surveyed by Global Knowledge, IT security is a hiring priority; by 2019, there will be a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals. And for students looking to break into the industry, IT security represents a tremendous opportunity; the same survey found that cybersecurity careers are the third-highest paying jobs in all of IT.

Omar Shaban, Director, Global Operations Cisco Networking Academy, recognizes the growing need for talent all around the world. “At a macro level, any country you go to, developed or developing, talk to the minister of labor or the president, and there are three top-of-mind areas,” he said. “One is security, physical and cyber, two is around the creation of jobs, and three is around education.”

That’s why in June, Cisco announced a new $10 million Global Cybersecurity Scholarship. The goal of the program, which officially launched in August, is to create 10,000 new cybersecurity jobs. More than that, it’s goal is to prepare students, professionals, and those looking to re-skill with the necessary certifications and knowledge to thrive in today’s digital economy.

Shaban believes the program is essential in the face of digitization. “It is changing industries,” he said. “Every engineer in healthcare and every electrician will need to know something about networking. It will create new jobs and change existing jobs.”

As part of the program, Cisco will invest $10 million in updating curriculum, providing new, cybersecurity-specific courses, and delivering the coursework to students around the globe. Students commit to a three-month training program, which includes:

  • Access to 2 online, instructor-led courses with assessments
  • Mentoring to prepare for the brand new CCCNA Cyber Ops certification exam
  • Waived exam fees

“The scholarship is a great opportunity to take all of the wonderful things we’re doing in the Cisco Networking Academy and the Cisco Learning Network and expand on them,” Shaban said. “We’re providing new students and students who have finished an even more advanced-level of training advanced opportunities for in-demand careers.”

If you are at least 18 years old, proficient in English, and planning a career in IT cybersecurity, apply for the scholarship today!


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco