Applications Open for Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program

Source 
MassCyberCenter at MassTech
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Applications Open for Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program

Diverse College Students with a Passion for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Professionals in Massachusetts Encouraged to Apply

 

The MassCyberCenter at the MassTech Collaborative has released applications for the new Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program, an effort providing opportunities for diverse Massachusetts college students to learn about careers in cybersecurity and develop their professional networks through direct engagement with industry experts. The goal of the program is to promote increased diversity within the cybersecurity workforce in Massachusetts. In the Massachusetts technology sector, which includes the cybersecurity industry, only five percent of workers are Black, seven percent are Latinx, and one-third are women according to research by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC).  The program will enhance conditions for economic growth through outreach to the cybersecurity sector in Massachusetts—a key mission of the MassCyberCenter—which has strong demands for talented professionals. 

The Pilot Program will match diverse college students in Massachusetts with a mentor from the cybersecurity industry and is seeking candidates for both student participants and mentors. Students and mentors will be matched based on shared interests, and once paired up, they will meet virtually one-on-one to discuss the various career paths within cybersecurity, work together on a cybersecurity-related project, and plan how to best leverage their studies into an established career in the industry. 

“Mentorship is widely recognized as a valuable force for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” said Stephanie Helm, the Director of the MassCyberCenter.  “The Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program is an exciting opportunity for diverse students to personally connect with a cybersecurity professional who will help them chart a career. These students will have a trusted mentor to offer them advice and support as they embark in this complex and important industry.”

Students will work on a project under the guidance of their mentor during the Pilot Program.  Students can choose to build, break, secure, and administer a virtual machine; evaluate a cybersecurity policy or procedure for a business; draft a policy recommendation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; create or evaluate a cyber incident response plan; or develop a cyber education and awareness product.  Students will present their completed project at a showcase event at the end of the program.

“Massachusetts cybersecurity professionals and their employers have an important role to play in supporting the entry of diverse, young, and talented students into the industry,” said Carolyn Kirk, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the parent agency of the MassCyberCenter. “By serving as a mentor, cybersecurity industry professionals can have a powerful impact on the career trajectories of college students in Massachusetts. We encourage cyber professionals in Massachusetts to apply to be a mentor and help us expand opportunity for students across the state.”

Applications for both student and mentor roles will be accepted until late-September, and students will be matched with their mentor shortly thereafter.  During Massachusetts Cybersecurity Month in October, students will attend two virtual panels on careers in cybersecurity and the 2020 Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum, a marquee annual event hosted by the MassCyberCenter. The Pilot Program will conclude in mid-December with the project showcase event. 

For more information on the Cybersecurity Mentorship Pilot Program, including how to apply, visit: https://masscybercenter.org/mentorship.

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About MassCyberCenter

The MassCyberCenter was launched in September 2017 with a vision to enhance opportunities for the Massachusetts cybersecurity ecosystem to compete as the national cybersecurity leader while strengthening the resiliency of the Commonwealth’s public and private communities. Learn more at www.masscybercenter.org.