What you need to know
- Microsoft announced plans to expand its cybersecurity skills campaign to 23 additional countries.
- The company will invest in the new areas to identify skill gaps, provide training, educate teachers, and support job seekers.
- As part of its efforts, Microsoft aims to improve diversity within the cybersecurity sector.
- Microsoft started working with 135 U.S. community colleges last year in the first phase of its cybersecurity skills campaign.
Microsoft announced a cybersecurity skills campaign in October 2021 to get more people into jobs within the industry. Now, the tech giant has announced plans to expand the campaign to 23 more countries. Microsoft will invest in countries that have an elevated cyberthreat risk and a gap in the cybersecurity workforce. Plans include providing resources through LinkedIn Learning, educating teachers in the sector, and supporting underserved and diverse job seekers.
In the blog post announcing the news, Microsoft states that there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open around the world by 2025. That would be a 350% increase over an eight-year period if it proves accurate. The expanded campaign by the tech giant should help fill some of those vacancies with qualified professionals.
Here's the list of countries that will receive investment by Microsoft:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Like with its campaign in the United States, Microsoft will also focus on increasing diversity among cybersecurity workers in the new regions. In the 23 countries that are part of the expansion, 17% of the cybersecurity workforce is female.
"Leaving women out of the cybersecurity workforce leaves talent on the table and will only hurt our ability to close the skills gap," says Kate Behncken, vice president and lead of Microsoft Philanthropies. "This isn't just about equality, there's a business case too: gender-diverse businesses perform better."
Microsoft will focus on five key areas as part of its global efforts:
- Working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to identify skills gaps and improve training.
- Offer free training through the LinkedIn Learning platform.
- Provide access to free curriculum to educators through the Microsoft Learn for Educators program.
- Support diverse and underserved job seekers through partnerships with Ecole 42 and Women in Cybersecurity.
- Work with local organizations to cater plans that fit the specific needs of different regions.
Microsoft also shared an update on its U.S. cybersecurity skills campaign. The company is working with 135 community colleges, including providing access to free curricula. Grants and scholarships have also been provided through the campaign.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.