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(ISC)2, the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals worldwide, has launched their Global Academic Program, which will make a wealth of educational resources freely available to academia in order to help alleviate the shortage of skilled security professionals.

“We believe it’s critical to recognize and support the role of the academic community in the development of much-needed cybersecurity talent for now and in the future. With the global skills gap in this sector increasingly acknowledged by companies and governments around the world, industry and academia must come together to address this challenge” said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP, executive director, (ISC)2.

“(ISC)2 is in a unique position to offer its educational content, which is regularly updated and vetted by experts, to colleges and universities around the world as part of this collaborative development effort required for our now digitally-dependent society,” Tipton continued.

The Global Academic Program provides access to products and services for higher education organizations applicable to  both undergraduate and post-graduate programs which include coursework materials for domain-specific modules and practice assessments to instructional handbooks for teachers as well as textbooks for students, and will be available to any accredited institution wanting to beef up their IT security course offerings.

“In addition to the resources we have to offer, this program presents a real opportunity to become part of a global network of academic members interested in establishing a joint framework for delivering essential skills and supporting the growth of a qualified cybersecurity workforce,” said Jo Portillo, manager, Global Academic Program, (ISC)2.

The initiative is intended to help address concerns over the ever-widening cybersecurity skills gap that has created a fiercely competitive marketplace for qualified security pros – something that may be good for job security and compensation, but is quite bad for organizations seeking to protect sensitive data.

“Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues facing our world today. It’s what keeps bank accounts secure, health records private, transportation grids protected and identities from being stolen,” said USF Provost Ralph Wilcox. “We have a huge role to play in ensuring that today’s students have the skills to tackle the cyber challenges of tomorrow, so that we can all continue to live, work, bank, travel and communicate safely.”

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