Merritt College is hosting an event on March 10, from 12-3 p.m. in R-110 on “Solving the Cybersecurity Staffing Crisis” to showcase its Cybersecurity training program to the community and potential employers. The event will feature keynote speaker Congressman Ro Khanna, a big supporter of Merritt’s program, through videoconferencing from Washington, D.C.
Industry guests will be talking to students who will be discussing their training and the solutions they would bring to San Francisco Bay Area organizations. Congressman Khanna (on live video) will be joined by other prominent guest speakers in person.
Here is a breakdown of the day’s activities:
· 12:00-12:15 Welcome/Kickoff for Event; Merritt and CISE speakers
· 12:15-12:30 Guest speaker
· 12:30-1:00 Student panel with existing students, graduates, and companies who have hired our students
· 1:00-2:00 Congressman Ro Khanna
· 2:00-3:00 Meet and Greet with students
The college is focused on placing these students with leading Silicon Valley companies and finding them jobs where they can apply their knowledge and training around cybersecurity.
The current lack of trained cybersecurity professionals stands in direct contrast to the explosion of advanced persistent threats and other vulnerabilities we see on the rise every year. A recent Internet Security Threat report from a leading cybersecurity company noted that one in four claimed they have suffered reputational damage and proprietary loss due to the skills shortage.
Congressman Khanna, who presides over Silicon Valley, has made it a top priority to address the shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals, as he did recently on C-Span. He sees a bold and innovative solution in referring to the Cybersecurity Program created by staff at Merritt College in partnership with members of the Consortium of Information Systems Executives (CISE). Traditional four-year education is not resolving the shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers in the United States. Congressman Khanna recognizes that we need bold and innovative approaches to resolving the problem and the cybersecurity program at Merritt is a great example of this approach.
The Merritt cybersecurity program is a fully accredited A.S. degree with majors in both Applications and Infrastructure Security and serves the San Francisco Bay Area East Bay School districts, which include students from less advantaged backgrounds. It results from the partnership with the CISE organization, Merritt College, and CIO’s / CISO’s from leading San Francisco Bay Area companies. The program provides trained, entry-level security professionals from which an organization can then expand on and develop other existing staff internally. The Merritt College program can be summarized in the following points:
● Fully accredited associate of science degree in information security, with majors in applications and infrastructure security
● Courses designed and co-taught by security industry experts
● Program includes “hands on” labs to develop your technical security skills
● Internships with Bay Area companies to work in information security field while students study for their degree
● Class projects include forensics of a pharmaceutical organization that suffered a security breach, securing systems on Amazon Web Services, and developing Information security strategies