SWSIS program awards cybersecurity scholarships to women
Responding to a shortage of cybersecurity professionals across the United States and a dearth of women in the field, Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) announced the winning recipients of the 2014 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS).
In collaboration with HP, the organizations have awarded college scholarships to 11 women, reinforcing their commitment to support a new generation of IT security talent.
ACSA, CRA-W and HP are working to close a gap where it’s estimated that 40% of available information security positions in the United States are unfilled, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute. By awarding scholarships to 11 female students for security-focused studies at academic institutions across the United States, the scholarship program also addresses the shortage of women in IT security positions throughout industry.
The SWSIS program was originally founded by ACSA, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the understanding, theory and practice of cybersecurity. Scholarship winners are undergraduates and masters’ degree candidates from 11 colleges and universities across the United States.
“The computer security club at my school has provided an amazing opportunity for me to learn about the industry and solidify my interest in pursuing security as a career,” said Jessie Pease, rising senior at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. “Security is like a puzzle where I’m constantly trying to break and fix things, and I’m excited to continue developing those skills with support from HP, ACSA and CRA-W.”
As part of a HP’s larger academic initiative to enhance IT security education and training, HP granted $250,000 to expand the ACSA/CRA-W SWSIS scholarship program and will offer winners potential internship opportunities.
“HP is committed to closing the skills gap and arming a future generation of security professionals against the growing number of cyber threats,” said Art Gilliland, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Security Products, HP. “The SWSIS program enables us to directly support students with their academic journeys, provide them with real-life opportunities to apply the skills that they learn and receive hands-on experience through HP’s broader education program.”
Starting this year, the application and selection processes are being managed by CRA-W, whose goal is to increase the number of successful women in computing research.
Additional information about the SWSIS program can be found here. Scholarship submission deadline for the 2015-16 academic year will be February 1 2015.