ASU accelerates efforts to enhance lifelong learning in cybersecurity

Arizona State University's Global Security Initiative is expanding its efforts to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals for the careers of tomorrow. The initiative and the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences have agreed to integrate the Cybersecurity Education Consortium into the initiative's portfolio, complementing its current interests in cybersecurity research and workforce development projects.

“Since ASU New College launched the CEC in 2016, we’ve developed industry partnerships, built a hub for information among ASU’s various cybersecurity degree offerings, and raised awareness of cybersecurity careers among middle and secondary school students and faculty. Now merging the CEC with GSI will only build upon and amplify the progress of which we are so proud,” said Todd Sandrin, dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

The consortium will continue to perform these roles as an enterprise of the Global Security Initiative, which is already home to the Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics. The integration of the consortium's programming with existing cybersecurity efforts in the Global Security Initiative will enhance ASU-wide coordination on the topic, offer external partners interested in collaborating with ASU on cybersecurity research and workforce development efforts a clear point of contact at the university, and enhance the consortium's connectivity with academic units in the university to achieve its cross-disciplinary objectives.

“The CEC complements GSI’s current portfolio in cybersecurity research and workforce development quite well. We have a tremendous opportunity to positively impact the local and national cybersecurity education ecosystem by arming lifelong learners — ranging from students in elementary school to deep technical experts already working in the field — with the skills necessary to thrive in our rapidly changing world,” said Nadya Bliss, executive director of the Global Security Initiative.

The initiative's immediate goals will be to scale current consortium activities to reach deeper and further into the community. Some of these initiatives include CyberDay4Girls, in collaboration with IBM, to expose middle-school girls to cybersecurity concepts and careers; expansion and  enhanced distribution of a cybersecurity curriculum for middle school students; and working in partnership with community colleges, industry, school districts, governments and others to further establish the greater Phoenix area as a national leader in lifelong cybersecurity education.