NPower, in partnership with Symantec, will expand the scope and reach of Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3), by offering this cybersecurity workforce development program to underserved youth and U.S. military veterans in New York City and Arlington, Texas.
The 26-week training program begins with 14 weeks of classroom training (six hours/day) that prepares students for Network +, Security + and Linux + certifications, all important credentials in the field. The training is followed by a 12-week internship at one of NPowers corporate partners, enabling trainees to build on-the-job experience and professional connections. Trainees then graduate from the program and receive personalized job placement assistance from NPower. Trainees are either placed in full-time employment at their internship sites, or receive support with securing jobs at other companies.
The Texas program will enroll approximately 15 veterans (aged 21-40) who are transitioning into the civilian workforce, while the second New York City cohort will enroll 15 underserved young adults (18-25). Symantec will provide funding and input on the programs refined/improved curriculum.
Based on the previous performance of NPowers training programs, no significant challenges to implementation are anticipated. NPower has administered tech training programs for veterans since 2013, and is experienced at customizing its training programs and support systems to effectively serve this population. NPowers goals are to graduate 80% or more of participants, and help 80% of graduates obtain jobs in cybersecurity within 12 months.
Both populations served by this commitment can greatly benefit from better access to job training and placement programs: over 3.4 million young adults were unemployed in 2014 (14.3% of 16-to-24 year olds), while an estimated 184,000 post-9/11 veterans are currently unemployed (BLS data). By providing young adults and veterans with training in high-demand cybersecurity jobs, NPower and Symantec are putting them on a course for long-term career success, while helping to address the urgent need for trained professionals in this field.
September - November 2015: Launch of the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) training program in Arlington, Texas, enrolling 15 veteran participants. Students will receive classroom training and take the Network +, Security + and Linux + certification exams during this period. Deliverable: 15 veterans trained; 80% obtain at least one certification.
December 2015 - March 2016: Phase two of the Arlington program. NPower will seek to place 100% of participants in 12-week internships at leading corporations. In March, a graduation ceremony will be held at the offices of a corporate partner. NPower will communicate with intern host sites to determine if any internships are to be extended, or any interns are to be hired into full-time positions. NPower will also begin offering graduates support with finding cybersecurity employment at other companies.
Deliverables: 100% of veteran trainees placed in internships; 80% graduate from the full program.
January - March 2016: Launch of the SC3 training program in New York City, with recruitment/enrollment of 15 young adult participants. Students will receive classroom training and take the Network +, Security + and Linux + certification exams. Deliverable: 15 young adults trained; 80% obtain at least one certification.
April - June 2016: Phase two of the New York City program, with NPower again seeking to place 100% of trainees in internships. The graduation for the NYC class will be held in June, and graduates will begin receiving job placement support. Deliverables: 100% of young adult trainees placed in internships; 80% graduate from the full program.
June - September 2016: Ongoing job placement efforts for both SC3 classes. Deliverable: help 80% of SC3 graduates obtain full-time jobs. Due to timing, efforts to support the Arlington class will be more advanced when the commitment ends, but we expect initial job placement results for the NYC class to be strong.
Both private sector and government have identified cybersecurity as one of the fastest-growing, most critical fields in technology today. In fact, employment of Information Security Analysts is expected to grow 37% between 2012 and 2022, which far outpaces the projected growth for computer occupations in general (18%) and the average growth for all jobs (11%). (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
A key driver for growth in this field is the critical importance of cybersecurity to both individual computer users and organizations. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity and privacy.
Despite the importance of this field, there is a huge shortage of qualified candidates to fill cybersecurity jobs. Already, an estimated 209,000 cybersecurity positions are vacant in the United States alone. However, about 60,000 of these positions could be filled by individuals without a college degree, indicating a tremendous opportunity to specially train candidates for cybersecurity jobs.
In 2014, NPower, Inc. partnered with Symantec to pilot their cybersecurity workforce development Program, Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3), in New York City. The pilot engaged 16 underserved students and achieved strong results: all students obtained Network+ certifications, and 80% obtained Security+. Participants completed internships at industry-leading companies, such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and CBS. To date, five program graduates have secured full-time employment, while five have had their internships extended. NPower is actively helping the remaining graduates obtain employment.