PUEBLO – Pueblo Community College has established a three-year philanthropic partnership with Security Innovation, a leading authority in software security assessment and training, which will allow PCC students access to the latest in cybersecurity software training and technology.
Boston-based Security Innovation is a pioneer in the software security industry with clients such as Microsoft, Disney, Verizon and Target. The company will provide, at no cost to PCC, an extensive catalog of computer-based training and innovative, hands-on web application cyber ranges that address today’s most pressing software security issues. Because all of the Security Innovation training resources are online, students at all PCC locations – Pueblo, Cañon City, Mancos, Durango and Bayfield – will be able to utilize them.
“This partnership impacts the nuts and bolts of our cybersecurity curriculum. It would take us years to build what they are offering us,” said Jennifer Sherman, dean of PCC’s business and advanced technology division. “By allowing us to use their courseware and cyber ranges, we’re able to train to the current industry standard.”
“What really motivated us to partner with PCC is their commitment to providing their students with the skills that are in high demand right now and a willingness to be innovative in their curriculum delivery to meet the needs of the modern workforce,” said Ed Adams, CEO of Security Innovation. “Additionally, their programs are accessible to historically underrepresented communities. This is critical for remediating the dire lack of diversity in cybersecurity.”
Adams and Mike Krakow, manager of PCC’s computer information systems and health information technology programs, met in 2019 at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education conference and began discussing ways to work together. The resulting partnership is an example of the collaborations between PCC and private industry that are critical to closing the skills gap and developing a strong workforce. There is an acute demand for skilled employees in the cybersecurity field, with approximately 460,000 job openings nationwide.
“This is a big deal for our students,” said Krakow. “By having access to the cyber range, we’re years ahead of the game. The SI content really aligns with our secure software development program and we can customize by choosing the cyber range modules that fit our curriculum.”
”Our students will be competitive locally, regionally and nationally when they graduate,” Sherman said. “It’s their ticket to a big career in an industry that has a severe shortage of skilled employees.”