Albany State University Collaborates with IBM to Address Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Albany State University (ASU) is collaborating with International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) as one of 20 schools, to establish a Cybersecurity Leadership Center. The Center will provide students and faculty access to IBM training, software, and certifications at no cost. Male and Female student at computer

With 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., the need for expertise is critical: According to a recent IBM Security study*, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

“The collaboration with IBM is an important component of our strategy to prepare our students to positively contribute to the demanding STEM field,” said Albany State University’s President Marion Ross Fedrick. “ ASU will benefit from this long-term collaboration by integrating IBM’s curriculum into our program, leveraging the resources to train our faculty and students, and expanding the pipeline of students who will be the workforce of the future to work in current STEM careers as well as the ones yet to be imagined,” added President Fedrick.

Through IBM’s collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM cloud-hosted software, and professional development resources, all at no cost to them. This includes access to:

  • Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each participating HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal – an IBM client offering – including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.
  • Immersive learning experience: Students and faculty at participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs’ faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.
  • Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud
  • Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts, and discover IBM internships and job openings

“Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we’re co-creating with Historically Black Colleges and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education; it also builds on our pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years.”

* Conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored and analyzed by IBM