The Push to Get More Black People Working in Cybersecurity

The Push to Get More Black People Working in Cybersecurity

While much of the focus about the future job landscape is negative—jobs being lost to automation and robotics—there is one industry that is projected to have astounding career opportunities: cybersecurity. One organization is focused on getting more black people working in the cybersecurity field.

The Thought Leadership and Innovation Foundation (TLI) has launched a new program targeting historically black colleges and universities, as well as minority-serving institutions—the Risk Management and Cybersecurity Training Program.

TLI describes the program in a statement on its website:

We developed a training program to promote risk management education and economic empowerment for students of HBCUs and MSIs and to reduce financial losses at MSIs through rigorous risk management practices. In our ever-changing modern world, a vibrant risk management framework is a natural foundation of cybersecurity readiness and compliance.

The program’s goal is to create a pipeline to cybersecurity careers via training and internships.

Risk management is the “process of identifying, assessing, and responding to risk” applied to technology threats, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. Solid risk management policies help thwart security breaches, hacking, data theft, and other cybercrime.

Cybersecurity jobs are expected to rise 28% by 2026. Currently, there is a critical lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals. Industry analysts say there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, according to research from Cybersecurity Ventures. There is so much attention placed on coding and software development, particularly for black computer science students, that cybersecurity options often fall to the wayside.

Yet, cybersecurity is a well-paying field. reports that the average cybersecurity salary is $75,850.

The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals has even pushed politicians to sound the alarm. Back in 2016, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), while speaking at an event hosted by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMP), said: “There is currently a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the United States, which is predicted to grow to 1.5 million by 2019. There exists an opportunity to address both the cybersecurity workforce shortage and the underrepresentation of minority groups in the technology industry.”

In 2015, the Obama administration announced a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy to select HBCUs to improve cybersecurity education.

To find out more about TLI’s Risk Management and Cybersecurity Training Program visit the organization’s website.