Microsoft Plans to Fill 3.5 Million Cyber Security Jobs

Microsoft has given millions of dollars in grant funds to expand the number of skilled cyber security workers. The company first launched the campaign in 2021 as a part of its Cyber Skills for All initiative. This March, Microsoft announced that it would be expanding the program to 23 additional countries. The company estimates that by 2025, there will be 3.5 million cyber security jobs open. With this initiative, Microsoft plans to fill all of these jobs.

The program will offer training for this area of expertise through community colleges. Overall, the goal of the classes is to create a diverse group of highly-skilled workers that are prepared to tackle all problems of the present and future.

“Community colleges are critical to expanding the cybersecurity workforce in the United States,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft’s general manager for digital inclusion and U.S. community engagement. “We’re proud to support the American Association of Community Colleges and these community colleges as they accelerate their cybersecurity programs.”

GrantWatch has similar grants available to U.S. IHEs for scholarships for students studying cybersecurity. Funding is to increase the number of people entering the workforce with these qualifications, in order to strengthen security for local, state, and government agencies. To find more workforce grants, you can also check out GrantWatch’s full workforce category.

Why the Cyber Skills for All Initiative Is Important

Cyber security is the new frontier and there is a major need for workers are trained with the right level of technical skills to be successful. However, there are some major gaps in the cybersecurity industry currently.

According to the Cybersecurity Workforce Study in 2021, “the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets.” Improving diversity in this field is a huge step in narrowing the current gap in cybersecurity. The World Economic Forum estimates that women make up only 25 percent of the industry today. The organization also notes that 72 percent of the cybersecurity workforce is Caucasian. Increasing diversity in cybersecurity will not only help fill these jobs, but it will lead to innovation and help companies connect to a wider audience.

Specifically, this program will help fill this gap by:

  • Overcoming accessibility issues that impact students regionally through innovative opportunities for remote and non-traditional students
  • Offering retention initiatives that reduce barriers to completion of coursework, with the hopes this will increase retention.
  • Increasing enrollments in cyber security courses by at least 5% in year one, with a 10% growth target in years 2 & 3, and a 25% increase between 2022-2025 overall.
  • Developing and cultivating strong partnerships with cybersecurity partners to drive experiential opportunities for students and graduates.
  • As well as aligning all educational outcomes to meet the National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity recognition.

So Who’s Getting Funded?

Here’s a list of community colleges that will benefit from this new initiative:

  • Oklahoma City College in Oklahoma
  • Glen Oaks Community College in Michigan
  • Northwest-Shoals Community College in Alabama
  • Paradise Valley Community College in Arizona
  • Hawaii Community College in Hawaii
  • Clover Park Technical College in Washington state.
  • Southside Virginia Community College in Virginia
  • Laramie County Community College in Wyoming
  • Bismarck State College in North Dakota
  • Miami Dade College in Florida
  • Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio
  • Temple College in Texas
  • Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts
  • And finally, Moorpark College in California

GrantNews Notes

Are you looking for more grants like this? GrantWatch has an entire category of technology grants. Additionally, GrantWatch also features a grant category specifically for higher education grants.

Also, make sure to sign up for a paid subscription to GrantWatch. By doing so, you and your organization can receive access to more than 8,000 grants for nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals. Additionally, this includes full eligibility criteria, contact information for grant funders, and application links.

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