IBM has partnered with Clack Atlanta University, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Specialisterne Foundation and other historically Black colleges and universities to tackle the talent shortage in the cybersecurity industry.
In 2020, Manpower Group found that the talent shortage in the U.S. had more than tripled over 10 years, with 69% of employers surveyed struggling to fill skilled positions, up from just 14% in 2010.
By September 2021, there were more than 1.2 million U.S. job vacancies in software-related professions, according to the National Foundation for American Policy.
Clark Atlanta University is one of six HBCUs selected to be part of the new education initiatives with the VA Specialisterne Foundation, to provide no-cost STEM job training to U.S. military veterans, neurodivergent learners worldwide and to university students from underrepresented communities in the U.S.
George T. French Jr., Ph.D., president of Clark Atlanta University made a statement on the collaboration Sunday. He said it is an amazing opportunity to prepare students.
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"Clark Atlanta University welcomes the partnership and the expanded collaboration with IBM to build a more diverse and innovative U.S. cyber workforce. This amazing opportunity prepares our students for the future in developing cutting edge technology to solve complex cybersecurity challenges that will better protect organizations in a challenging and uncertain global security environment", said French Jr.
A press release said these initiatives focus on providing STEM job training to traditionally underrepresented communities as part of the collaboration commitment to train 30 million people worldwide by 2030.
IBM wants to create equitable, inclusive economic opportunities while also addressing a longstanding STEM job skills shortage impacting the business community.
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"We believe that the most promising job candidates for today's demanding careers will come from communities that may have been historically overlooked or excluded due to outdated hiring policies and old-fashioned credentialing," said Justina Nixon-Saintil, vice president, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG (environmental, social and governance).
Michael Frueh, VA's principal deputy under secretary for benefits said the VA wants veterans to have as many pathways to career success as possible.
"This is an urgent need and goes beyond hiring. This partnership will offer our veterans a unique opportunity to obtain skills and find job opportunities across companies and industries."
Steen Lohse, CEO and managing director of Specialisterne Foundation said it believes hiring diverse talent increases companies' success.
"Neurodivergent people across the world will have access to free, online courses from IBM SkillsBuild on disruptive technologies such as AI, cybersecurity and cloud computing, enabling meaningful employment for neurodivergent learners."
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