San Antonio College Joins National Coalition for Cybersecurity Workforce Development

November 13, 2020

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communications

San Antonio College’s computer information systems/computer science department has joined a coalition of 10 institutions – all designated as National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE) – to establish a program that addresses the critical national shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the U.S.

The National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program will be overseen by the University of West Florida (UWF), which was awarded a two-year, $6 million grant from the National Security Agency to fund the initiative. It will launch in Spring 2021.

The workforce development program will focus on recruiting, preparing and placing transitioning military and first responders into cybersecurity work roles in critical infrastructure sectors, including financial services, defense industrial base and energy sectors. The cybersecurity workforce shortage tops 500,000 nationwide according to CyberSeek, a comprehensive cybersecurity workforce analytics website. Industry, government and nonprofit partners will collaborate with UWF and the academic coalition to align the workforce program with critical needs and prepare students for cybersecurity roles. 

The coalition will establish a nationally scalable certificate-based cybersecurity workforce development program that aligns with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, or NICE, Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. The program will provide flexible pathways that accommodate participants’ diverse aptitudes, education and experience. Students will develop core competencies and skills through stackable and verifiable credentials and certificates.

Recruitment will prioritize veterans and first responders, and eligible students will receive scholarships for tuition and fees, books, and industry certifications. The workforce program pathways will be offered across the nation by the 10 CAE designated institutions. The program website will provide a one-stop shop to recommend cybersecurity work roles, connect students with CAE-C institutions offering workforce pathways and with employers hiring for those roles. 

Other institutions that comprise the coalition are Augusta University, Dakota State University, Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso, Florida International University, University of Houston, Metropolitan State University, Cyber Florida at the University of South Florida and the University of Texas at San Antonio.