Addressing the cybersecurity skills gap
The aim of these initiatives are to help bridge the cybersecurity workforce skills gap – which our research predicts to reach a 1.8 million shortfall in the next four years – and improve diversity within the profession; by providing future information security professionals with Undergraduate, Graduate or Women’s scholarships to assist them in preparing for their rewarding career in this vital sector.
How the scholarship program has evolved
The program started in 2005, awarding four graduates $12,500 each towards an advanced degree in the sector. The scheme was initially part of (ISC)²’s “Year of the Information Security Professional” program, designed to create additional awareness of the profession and encourage high-quality new entrants into the field.
From 2005 through to 2010, the program grew, distributing between three and six awards each year; with the early scholarships being focused on graduate students conducting research in cybersecurity.
Last year however, 48 scholarships out of the 1000 plus who applied were rewarded; and today up to $125,000 is available across the varying scholarships – indicating a real growth and popularity in the scheme. Back in 2011, 28 applications were received, with the number of submissions growing but staying around the 60 – 70 mark each year. Though 2016 saw the real turning point, with over 500 applications being received, and of course last year where the scheme received its record number of submissions yet.
And it was in 2011 – in a concerted effort to address the fact that women are underrepresented in the profession – the women’s scholarships were created. Females also have made up 73% of scholarship recipients to date, with nearly $200,000 being presented since the program commenced.
Successful recipients across the program have hailed from all corners of the globe too, including United Kingdom, Iraq, Estonia, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Korea, India, Jamaica, Australia, Canada and more.
If you’re interested in applying, or know someone who might be, read on for details on the individual initiatives:
Aspiring information security professionals have the opportunity to ease some of their educational financial burden with the (ISC)² Information Security Scholarship, offering undergraduate students studying information security from $1,000 to $5,000 per recipient. To be eligible, your GPA must be at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or an analogous rank based on a comparable scale). Additionally, you can apply if you are a citizen from any country and studying in any country, either on a full time or part time course; whether it’s online or on-campus. For more details on eligibility and how to apply, see the official (ISC)² undergraduate scholarships page.
Graduate students often need funding to conduct special research projects or assistance with tuition and fees; and the (ISC)² Graduate Scholarship Program helps grad students achieve those goals. Graduate applicants may be awarded between $1,000 and $5,000 each. To be eligible, your GPA must be at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale (or an analogous rank based on a comparable scale). Please note, if you have just been accepted to Graduate School, or are just beginning classes, you will use the final cumulative GPA from your undergraduate degree transcript to meet the criteria. Additionally, you can apply if you are a citizen from any country and studying in any country, either on a full time or part time course; whether it’s online or on-campus. For more details on eligibility and how to apply, see the official (ISC)² graduate cybersecurity scholarships page.
The deadline for the Undergraduates scholarships is 15 March 2018, and for Graduates, it’s 17 April 2018.