•Continues to Grow State’s Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline
The SANS Institute has announced an expansion of funding for the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland, a program designed to develop the cybersecurity talent pipeline across the Old Line State.
The Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland was originally launched in 2018 through an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Implementation Grant from the Maryland Department of Labour.
This year’s EARN grant renewal enables SANS to extend the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland through May 2021.
Since its inception, the program has trained over 75 qualified Maryland residents, with a focus on enrolling women, veterans, and minorities; providing real-world, hands-on cybersecurity skills valued by employers. Training is held at various locations throughout Maryland and online.
With the grant renewal, the Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland will be able to serve another 95 participants. Applications will re-open this week and candidates will be considered on an ongoing basis. Program details and cohort schedules are available.
“The Maryland Department of Labour is pleased to continue our partnership with the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy through EARN Maryland,” said Acting Secretary James Rzepkowski, “This program is successfully helping to meet the critical need for a highly skilled cybersecurity workforce while providing invaluable opportunities for women, veterans, and minorities.”
Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland graduates are working in a variety of technical cybersecurity positions for leading local employers such as GEICO, IronNet Cybersecurity, and Booz Allen Hamilton. One such example is Yesi Flores, a USMC veteran who worked in retail prior to selection for the Academy.
Upon successfully completing his training and achieving two industry-recognized GIAC certifications, Yesi secured a job as a SOC Analyst at nearly triple his previous income. He’s since moved on to an even more advanced role with BlackBerry.
Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland graduates are making a difference and helping defend their employers’ networks and critical infrastructure, working as cyber analysts, security analysts, SOC analysts, system administrators, system engineers and more.
“If you told me one and a half years ago that I would be in the job I have now, I would never have believed you,” says Whitney White, a 2018 graduate of the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland.
“SANS training and GIAC certifications command great respect among employers. I graduated from the Academy in August and I was at my desk at GEICO in September. SANS is the reason I have my job today. SANS gave me a second chance at life,” continues White.
This accelerated cybersecurity training program offers students advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications and the hands-on cyber defense and incident handling skills sought after by Maryland employers.
This Academy builds on the success of the SANS VetSuccess, Women’s, and Diversity Cyber Academies. Since 2015, these programs have provided scholarship-based cybersecurity training to more than 450 participants, with over 90% of successful graduates finding employment in cybersecurity.
“We are thrilled by Maryland’s continued investment in the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland to expand the region’s cybersecurity talent pool,” explained Thomas El-Khatib, founder and president, Craina Consulting Corp.
“Chris Harper, a recent SANS Cyber Workforce Academy graduate and member of the National Guard, has been a GREAT hire. I have been highly impressed by his real-world technical skills and competencies and his valuable military experience.
Chris now provides cybersecurity engineering support to an Army Medical system that he uses as a combat medic when on active duty. His ability to meet the complex demands of the job is a testament to his world-class SANS training.”
Additionally, SANS is partnering with 20 employers and several nonprofit organizations to support applicant recruitment and post-graduation job searches. The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu also help Academy graduates blend their newly acquired technical skills with communication and leadership techniques, to further promote their marketability.