Oregon State University received $4.8 million from the National Science Foundation. This is to help the United States close the huge gap between the number of cybersecurity job openings and the number of eligible applicants for those positions.
This mission is important because without a strong workforce and a healthy pool of job seekers, government agencies, including tribal governments, and private organizations are at increased risk of cyberattacks that threaten the security of everything from power grids to defense systems. The project leader, Rakesh Bobba, said it would require access to an individual’s personal information.
Bobba, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the OSU College of Engineering, said: “With over 750,000 cybersecurity jobs in the United States, including 7,500 in Oregon, this program is ideal for organizations struggling to fill positions and offers a highly paid and satisfying career. It’s a great way to attract students to a desired field.”
Part of NSF’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program, the grant provides scholarships to cybersecurity students, as well as a new engineering school where students will provide cybersecurity services to organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Support the program CyberClinic.
Students accepted into the Scholarship for Service program agree to work for the U.S. Government for the number of years they receive their scholarship. This means that students receiving a two-year scholarship will work in a federal agency cybersecurity role for two years after graduation. .
The scholarship includes living expenses and is valid for up to three years.
The grant covers scholarships for up to 29 students in total, both graduate and undergraduate. The program focuses on recruiting, retaining, and deploying underrepresented and underserved groups in cybersecurity, including women, first-generation college students, and low-income students.
Through a cyber clinic led by Assistant Professor of Practice Dave Nevin, students assist underserved institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest through expertly supervised clinical rotations.
Modeled after the clinical rotations used at OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, rotations provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real-world setting.
Scott Ashford, OSU’s Kearney Dean of Engineering, said CyberClinic is “a great example of the hands-on learning that Oregon is known for.”
“It’s been a great experience so far,” said Nevin. “The clinical rotation model used in veterinary education lends itself well to cybersecurity education.
“Our students are incredibly knowledgeable in the field, but most cybersecurity jobs require experience, and this is a way to gain that experience in a structured environment,” he said. added, “And we are happy to help organizations that otherwise could not have their own cybersecurity program.”