IBM to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers at 3 Alabama HBCUs

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Talladega College is one of the HBCUs that is teaming up with IBM. (Pat Byington / The Bama Buzz)

At the National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week Conference with the US Department of Education and the White House, technology company IBM announced its collaboration with 20 HBCUs to help them establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers. Three Alabama HBCUs were selected for the program. Read on to find out more.

Fulfilling a critical need

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Tuskegee University is another HBCU chosen for the program. (Pat Byington / The Bama Buzz)

According to a recent IBM Security study, organizations that are understaffed in cybersecurity suffer $550,000 more in breach costs than those that aren’t. Cyberseek reports more than 700,000 cybersecurity job openings in the country.

To help bridge that gap, IBM has partnered with HBCUs across the country to co-create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers that create talent for employers and opportunities for students.

“Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital. The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we’re co-creating with Historically Black College and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education.”

Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG

This recent move also builds on IBM’s pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over three years.

What schools are involved?

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Talladega College. (Pat Byington / The Bama Buzz)

Wondering which HBCUs are a part of this innovative collaboration? Three Alabama schools were chosen:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Talladega College
  • Tuskegee University

Through this program, faculty and students at these schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM Cloud-hosted software and professional development resources, all at no cost to them. This includes access to:

  • Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal, including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. Plus, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.
  • Immersive learning experience: Faculty and students of participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, where they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques.
  • Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud.
  • Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts and discover IBM internships and job openings.

In addition to those Alabama HBCUs, these schools across the country are teaming up with IBM:

  • Florida – Edward Waters University, Florida A&M University
  • Georgia – Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University
  • Louisiana – Grambling State University, Southern University System, Xavier University of LA
  • Maryland – Bowie State University, Morgan State University
  • Mississippi – Alcorn State University
  • North Carolina – North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University
  • South Carolina – South Carolina State University, Voorhees University
  • Texas – Texas Southern University
  • Virginia – Norfolk State University
  • West Virginia – West Virginia State University

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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