As cybersecurity attacks continue to escalate across the globe, securing refinery and manufacturing systems from threats is a hot topic. To spark student interest in pursuing career opportunities in cybersecurity and address the workforce gap, Whatcom Community College’s (WCC) National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center (NCyTE), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD), hosted the Community College Cybersecurity Strategic Summit on December 8 and 9, 2022.
Laurie Grey, Anvil’s Cybersecurity Analyst and CRC Coordinator of Technology and graduate of WCC’s IT Networking/Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree program, was one of a panel of industry experts to discuss her hiring experiences in the cybersecurity industry and the challenges of finding employment in this growing field.
“This event gave past students the opportunity to talk about their individual path towards finding a cybersecurity position after graduating,” Laurie noted.
It even started an interesting dialogue about the fact that employers want advanced cybersecurity skills and experience for entry-level positions.
A Fortune.com article published in July 2022 emphasized the criticality of filling global cybersecurity jobs in the next two years. “By 2025, there will be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs across the globe.” It’s a job in demand that not only pays well but provides a meaningful career as cybersecurity is critical to preventing an attack or catastrophic event that could cripple our nation’s economy and security. For example, the CISA’s Internet Crime Complaint Center cited 641 cyber-attacks to U.S. critical infrastructure in 2021. This figure is expected to increase in 2022’s report.
“Over the next ten years, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to skyrocket, and colleges are ramping up their degree programs and recruitment efforts to increase both the number and diversity of available workers within the field,” Laurie said.
Anvil welcomed the opportunity to again partner with NCyTE and WCC and to talk about our Cyber Range and the professional opportunities it represents.
“The Cyber Range hosted on our Bellingham campus provides WCC students with critical and valuable hands-on experience with ICS hardware and software to prepare them for future employment. It’s an important contribution to filling the gap with qualified cybersecurity applicants,” Laurie said. “I was proud to be able to identify myself as a member of Anvil’s InfoSec team and the coordinator for the Cyber Range.”
“It was an honor to participate in very productive discussions throughout the two-day event and to have the ear of important decision-makers from Washington, D.C. who would be able to put our ideas into effect on a national level,” concluded Laurie.