Cyber Scholarship to Build Multicultural Workforce

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Select candidates from diverse backgrounds pursuing a career in cybersecurity could receive academic scholarships that pay half of their tuition, according to an announcement from NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Bridgewater Associates.

On 31 August the school will award an initial round of five scholarships to students from underrepresented minority groups enrolled in its Cyber Fellows online master’s degree program. This year five chosen members of the program will receive the new minority scholarship, funded by Bridgewater Associates, but the number of recipients will jump to 25 for next year.

“We will welcome our partners – the first Cyber Fellows, industry advisors and New York City – in this unique initiative to quickly scale up the number of technical experts capable of protecting our personal lives, critical infrastructure and national security,” Nasir Memon, NYU professor and associate dean for online learning, said in a press release.

During a welcome event for the inaugural cohort of 109 New York Cyber Fellows enrolled in NYU Tandon’s online cyber security master’s degree, Bridgewater Associates will present the recipients with their financial awards. Of those 109 students, 40% were reportedly identified as members of underrepresented groups, including women.

“The under-participation by large segments of our society represents a loss of opportunity for individuals, a loss of talent in the workforce and a loss of creativity in shaping the future of cybersecurity,” said International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals president Aric K. Perminter.

“Not only is it a basic equity issue, but it threatens our global economic viability as a nation. The Bridgewater Scholarship underscores the importance of our mission to provide innovative, effective and timely solutions to the cybersecurity demands of employers.”

Building a diverse workforce remains both a challenge and an opportunity, which the scholarship intends to leverage in order to to address the growing shortage of highly trained technical security professionals.

“The Bridgewater Scholarship represents a meaningful alliance between Bridgewater Associates and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering with the shared goal of advancing the knowledge and careers of underrepresented minority students in cybersecurity,” said Bridgewater chief security officer Richard Falkenrath. “We are delighted to be involved in this significant program and to present the scholarship to this year’s winners.

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