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NYC aims to diversify cybersecurity field with new internship program

A new internship program backed by the city government of New York is launching to diversify the cybersecurity talent pipeline.

Run through the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the internship program is aiming to increase the number of women and people of color in the cybersecurity field by serving as a conduit between candidates and companies in need of cybersecurity workers.

NYCEDC will be funding the recruitment and matchmaking efforts, and the intern salaries will be determined by the partner companies based on level of experience and role. The internships will be both part time and full time and all participants must be New York City residents.

NYCEDC one reason it is spearheading the program is because just 24% of the cybersecurity workforce is female. NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball said the program will provide diverse candidates with resources and training for future opportunities in the cybersecurity industry.

Expanding and diversifying the cybersecurity workforce in the U.S. was a key pillar of the National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the White House last week.

“The NYCEDC Cyber NYC Internship Program will help some of New York’s best and brightest minds gain the experience they need to excel in the cybersecurity industry,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The deadline for application deadlines is March 31 and interns will be placed at companies on a rolling basis. NYCEDC also urged interested companies to contact them if they are interested in hiring a cybersecurity intern.

NYCEDC initially got involved in cybersecurity in 2018 with the launch of a Fullstack Academy cybersecurity bootcamp and the City College of New York (CCNY) Cybersecurity Master’s Program.

NYCEDC said they expect many of the internship applicants to come from these two programs but urged students at other universities and schools to apply.

Tarek Saadawi, professor and co-director of the City College Cybersecurity Master’s program, said linking students to industry internships in the cybersecurity field is “invaluable” for the professional growth of aspiring cybersecurity workers and “will forge important new links between industry and academia.”

Fullstack Academy vice president Huntly Mayo-Malasky added that the program would help solve the massive cybersecurity talent gap seen in a variety of industries.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) – a Congressman behind several cybersecurity efforts on Capitol Hill – said it is “imperative” that meaningful action is taken to prepare a new generation of talent to “meet the challenges of tomorrow in the ever-evolving cyber ecosystem.”

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.