ISC2 extends training offerings beyond certification

ISC2 announced the founding of its Professional Development Institute (PDI) to combat one of the largest challenges facing the cybersecurity community today – a global shortage of skilled and trained professionals to defend organizations against the evolving onslaught of cyber threats.

Provided as a free portfolio of course offerings to ISC2 members and associates, PDI will help enhance their skills and abilities by providing access to rich continuing professional education (CPE) opportunities that augment the knowledge they’ve gained throughout their careers.

“For 30 years ISC2 has been preparing cybersecurity professionals for our rigorous certifications, and now we’re also investing in the essential learning that comes after certification,” said ISC2 CEO David Shearer, CISSP. “The Professional Development Institute is a recognition that cybersecurity education is a lifelong journey, and that achieving professional certification, while important, is only one stop along the way. These new CPE opportunities are enriching and rewarding and provide valuable, topical insights that will help our members continue to grow and progress.”

The multi-year strategy for PDI encompasses the addition of 18 new staff over the next two years, joining the more than 160 existing global employees of the association. These new staff will manage content development, curriculum building, quality control, communications, logistics and administration for the institute. The association will also build out a 765- square-foot video production studio in its Clearwater, Fla. headquarters to produce content for courses featuring leading cybersecurity professionals.

PDI builds on the successful 2018 pilot launch of three professional development courses provided at no additional fee to members and associates. Topics included GDPR for Security Professionals, DevSecOps and Building a Strong Culture of Security. Focus groups and member surveys provided insight into the professional development needs of security professionals and the results have and will continue to inform the evolution of PDI’s curriculum strategy.

Member subject matter experts will guide the development of the course material, supported by a team of highly-qualified adult education experts and creative professionals. This will enable ISC2 to develop a robust catalogue of CPE courses and offerings with the ability to continuously refresh that catalogue based upon clearly articulated member need. In 2019 alone there will be up to 30 new courses released as part of the portfolio.

Courses designed for working professionals

PDI courses will help ISC2 members and associates enhance their professional skills through convenient, high quality education. Making the courses available in an easily-accessible online format will help members maintain a work-life balance.

“Cybersecurity is not a nine-to-five profession, and one of the biggest challenges facing our members is that it can be difficult for them to find time and opportunities to continue to enhance their skills while also dealing with a dynamic threat environment,” said Shearer. “Time constraints and cost are two burdens that we’re trying to alleviate for members and associates with PDI, while ensuring that these CPE opportunities have learning objectives that are clearly aligned with current industry challenges.”

“There has been demand from ISC2 members for a wide array of professional development opportunities for education and CPE purposes. There are many such opportunities within the industry, but they are not readily accessible or only available at a significant cost, so I am very excited to see that ISC2 is offering these development programs,” said James McQuiggan, CISSP, Product & Solutions Security Officer for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Chapter President for the ISC2 Central Florida Chapter and ISC2 Advisory Council North America member. “I had the honor and pleasure to provide guidance for the content of one of the initial courses and shared my experience and expertise in its development, because I agree with the focus on practical application of security principles. Many of us who are ISC2 certification holders need opportunities like PDI to stay educated and up to speed on the latest threats, techniques and tools.”