WASHINGTON–Mastercard, in collaboration with Microsoft, Workday and the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service has launched the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative, which it said is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership to recruit the nation’s best minds to defend against global cyberattacks, the company said.
“The launch of this initiative serves as a call to action for leading companies, federal agencies and higher education institutions to come together and help grow the talent pipeline of cybersecurity technologists to protect the nation and support our digital economy,” Mastercard said.
According to the company, with more than 313,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. between September 2017 and August 2018, the talent deficit is significant and the need for a skilled workforce is steadily expanding. The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is a new program to help reduce the critical talent gap and support the next generation of motivated, mission-driven cybersecurity leaders, Mastercard said.
“A selective cross-sector opportunity for highly qualified, recent graduates in cybersecurity-related fields, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative helps to jumpstart careers and provide the training and experience needed to lead the nation’s cyber defense across the public and private sectors,” the company said.
Participants selected for the program will be guaranteed a two-year placement at a federal agency with cybersecurity opportunities. Before the conclusion of their federal service, participants will then be eligible for full-time positions with the program’s private sector partners, and once hired, will receive up to $75,000 in student loan assistance.
The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative includes a group of private sector companies and government agencies that play a vital role in protecting the nation and digital economy.
Participating federal agencies include:
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Department of Defense
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Federal Election Commission
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Office of Naval Intelligence
- Small Business Administration
“Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing our world today. It will take a true collaboration between the public and private sectors to get the right resources in place to address the threat,” said Ron Green, chief security officer, Mastercard. “We invite more corporations and government agencies to join us in this critical endeavor and give the best and brightest talent an opportunity to get a step up, enhance their skills and pave their own career paths.”