Microsoft logoSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is launching a four-year campaign to get more people into cybersecurity jobs.
  • The goal of the campaign is to help fill 250,000 cybersecurity jobs by 2025.
  • Microsoft will provide access to free curriculum, educator training, and tools for teaching to community colleges and other higher learning institutions.

Microsoft announced a new campaign to help fill 250,000 cybersecurity jobs by the middle of this decade. The company will work closely with community colleges throughout the country to help teach students the skills required to fill cybersecurity roles. "We need to mobilize America's community colleges and enlist them in the cybersecurity battle," says Microsoft president Brad Smith.

Smith outlines how Microsoft plans to reach this goal in a blog post. He also details the shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers in the United States. "Consider this – for almost every two cybersecurity jobs in the United States today, a third job is sitting empty because of a shortage of skilled people," says Smith. He adds that jobs that require cybersecurity skills make up 6% of all open jobs in the United States.

Microsoft's initial commitment will:

  • Make curriculum available free of charge to all of the nation's public community colleges.
  • Provide training for new and existing faculty at 150 community colleges.
  • Provide scholarships and supplemental resources to 25,000 students.

"In sum, we hope that people of all ages who are interested in the country's cyber protection will consider the half-million open cybersecurity jobs as a personal invitation to a rewarding and exciting future," says Smith. "And we're prepared to put Microsoft's technology, financial resources, learning materials, connections and voice behind a new national campaign to help take the next step."

A Microsoft Cybersecurity Scholarship Program was also announced. It will provide scholarships and other resources to at least 25,000 students over the next four years. Microsoft's program also includes free LinkedIn Premium accounts and mentorship from Microsoft employees.

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