SANS Institute Launches Nationwide Scholarship Program

Cybersecurity training and certification provider SANS Institute is partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to launch a new nationwide cybersecurity education scholarship program.

The SANS HBCU Cyber Academy will give scholarships to HBCU alumni and junior, senior and graduate students currently enrolled in HBCUs. 

Successful applicants will take part in a three-course training and certification program which will cover the fundamentals of computers, technology, networking and security. Students will be given twelve weeks to complete each course and certification.  

Among other skills, students will learn how to create a security program built on a foundation of detection, response and prevention. 

“Pop culture has led many to believe that cybersecurity isn’t for them – that you must fit into this stereotypical prototype with a background in computer science. Nothing could be farther from the truth,” said Delisha Hodo, SANS Institute HBCU chair. 

“The truth is that we need to fill the rapidly increasing cybersecurity workforce demand with individuals from all backgrounds. Now is the time to diversify the industry to improve its future and upend this misconception.”

According to the Aspen Institute’s September 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cybersecurity report, only 4% of the cybersecurity workforce self-identifies as black. 

Dennis Scandrett, chair of the SANS Institute Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force, said the cybersecurity industry’s lack of racial diversity might deter people from pursuing a career in the field.

“Considering and pursuing a cybersecurity career can feel like a bridge too far to cross, can feel too challenging and difficult, when surrounded by people who don’t look like you,” said Scandrett,

He added: “SANS Institute is determined to change that perspective.”

The application period for the SANS + HBCU Cyber Academy opened on January 17 2022, and applications will be accepted until March 1 2022. To gain acceptance into the academy, applicants must be passionate about cybersecurity and aim to pursue a career in the cybersecurity industry. 

All applicants must complete an online assessment and participate in a phone interview to be considered. 

Classes will kick off in April 2022 once the applications have been processed and the scholarships meted out.

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