Institute Launched to Address Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information announced the launch of a new Professional Institute aimed at helping mid-career tech professionals in rapidly changing fields develop their job skills. The programs are taught by leading industry professionals and leverage the knowledge of SCI, the School of LawGraduate School of Public and International Affairs and Pitt Cyber.

Founding Director and Pitt Cyber Affiliate Scholar Leona Mitchell said the institute will address a need for a high-demand skill set that industry leaders are scrambling to add to their workforces. 

Research from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education showed that as of January 2019, the United States was experiencing a deficit of nearly 314,000 cybersecurity workers. A recent survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies revealed that 82 percent of IT executives noticed a shortage of cybersecurity skills among employees, and 71 percent said the shortage was linked to “direct and measurable damage” within their institutions.

“There is a tremendous skills shortage in the tech industry, cybersecurity being the most challenging and costly. The need for cybersecurity skills has accelerated to the point where almost half the jobs go unfilled due to lack of skilled resources,” said Mitchell.

“Not everyone can come back for a full graduate degree, so we want to target working professionals and help them gain skills and capabilities at a much faster rate.”

The ultimate goal is to use those intellectual resources to build a pipeline of workers with the technical, social, political and legal knowledge to help institutions create safer and more secure infrastructures across the board.

“The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is a burgeoning national security crisis. SCI’s Professional Institute is precisely the type of innovative programming needed to help address it,” said David Hickton, Pitt Cyber’s Founding Director. “Pitt Cyber is pleased to support this important endeavor.”   

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Media Contact:

Deborah M. Todd, University of Pittsburgh News


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