Growing the Cybersecurity Workforce

Khoury/ECE Associate Professor Wil Robertson, ECE Distinguished Professor David Kaeli, and Affiliated Faculty Guevara Noubir were awarded a $4,874,905 NSF renewal CyberCorps┬« Scholarship for Service (SFS) program grant for “Securing the Future: Scholarship for Service at Northeastern University.”

Abstract Source: NSF

Despite the recognized need for a strong cybersecurity workforce to complement our nation’s technical strength, the U.S. suffers from a substantial cybersecurity workforce gap. Nowhere is this gap more keenly felt than in the public sector, where agencies at all levels struggle to acquire and develop strong cybersecurity talent. This project is a continuation of Northeastern University’s long-standing participation in the Scholarship for Service (SFS) program since 2009. Northeastern is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research (CAE-R) by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) and has a long track record of success in placing skilled cybersecurity workers across government agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).

In this project, Northeastern will build upon its successful history of training cybersecurity professionals with a three-fold approach: (i) increase recruitment from non-traditional populations, (ii) deepen exposure to the cybersecurity community and current needs, and (iii) strengthen support for placing students at federal executive agencies. With this approach, the team broadly seeks to scale up its SFS programmatic efforts across the workforce recruitment and development pipeline. The team will raise awareness of the mutual benefits of the SFS program to a wider population of candidates, intensifying recruitment from under-represented groups across the University?s network of campuses to widen the funnel of potential workers. Recognizing the significant benefit of use-inspired research and education, the project will deepen the exposure of SFS scholars to contemporary issues and open needs in the security community. Finally, the project will strengthen already-established mentorship and advising frameworks, building additional recruitment channels to participating agencies. The ultimate objective of this effort is for all SFS students at Northeastern to efficiently fill open positions at agencies across the US government and other hiring partners.

This project is supported by the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, which funds proposals establishing or continuing scholarship programs in cybersecurity and aligns with the U.S. National Cyber Strategy to develop a superior cybersecurity workforce. Following graduation, scholarship recipients are required to work in cybersecurity for a federal, state, local, or tribal Government organization for the same duration as their scholarship support.?

Related Faculty: Wil Robertson, David Kaeli, Guevara Noubir

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering