Nonprofit organisations provide 20 scholarships for cybersecurity training and certifications
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Twenty women are preparing for careers in cybersecurity through a training program offered by the Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2), Canada’s first and only nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting more women to pursue and excel in cyber careers, and CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
The two organisations have partnered to address the dual challenges of training and certifying more cybersecurity professionals and bringing more women into the tech workforce.
“There is a global shortfall of new professionals entering the cybersecurity sector and one of our key aims for this program is to demonstrate to individuals from all walks of life that it is possible to reskill into cybersecurity as long as you have the passion and tenacity to succeed,” said Lisa Kearney, president and CEO of WCS2.
Women comprise just 10% of Canada’s cybersecurity workforce. Even more alarming, an estimated 50% of women in ICT drop out of the tech workforce in the first four years of their careers. While data shows that working women have been among the demographics hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of cybersecurity offers a unique opportunity for women everywhere looking to skill, upskill and find employment in a new occupation.
“CompTIA is dedicated to resolving the global shortfall of new professionals entering the cybersecurity sector,” said Zeshan Sattar, director of learning and skills certification at CompTIA. “Our partnership with WCS2 is our latest effort to widen participation and increase the diversity of people interested in entering the field.”
The International Women in Cyber Day Scholarship was created to provide training, certification, mentoring and career skills to diverse candidates seeking to advance their cybersecurity careers. Nearly 150 women applied for scholarships. The women selected for the scholarships are at various stages in the careers. Some currently work in technology and are looking for advancement opportunities, while others are transitioning from jobs in different industries to join the tech workforce for the first time.
Between January and March, scholars in this program are working to earn the coveted CompTIA Security+ credential, using CompTIA CertMaster Learn with integrated labs, and CertMaster Practice learning resources to help them progress. Their training is delivered via a series of workshops led by veteran cybersecurity lecturer and IT trainer, Rebecca Harrop.
“We are working closely with the candidates on our flipped classroom program and are looking forward to sharing their successes as they strive to become CompTIA Security+ certified professionals,” CompTIA’s Sattar said.
“Training and certification are key components to advancing and retaining women in cybersecurity careers,” Kearney said. “The WCS2 Career Advancement Program also offers scholars career planning, mentorship, and internship opportunities. Over the next several months, we will be working one on one with each scholarship recipient to ensure they are positioned to succeed and advance their careers in cybersecurity.”
About the Women CyberSecurity Society
The Women CyberSecurity Society is Canada’s first and only non-profit offering support through programs and services to women and underrepresented groups interested in a cybersecurity career. Our mission is to increase the representation of women globally by advancing, retraining and retaining women throughout the lifecycle of their careers. Resulting in a more diverse and inclusive global community. Visit https://womencybersecuritysociety.org/.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit https://www.comptia.org/.