Cybersecurity is currently one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In preparation to fight the increasing battle against cyber attacks, “the demand by companies to boost cybersecurity capacity has led to the addition of about 200,000 new jobs each year, and careers in cybersecurity now account for more than 10 percent of all IT jobs.” There is a demand for another 10,000 skilled workers each year to fill these needs in the City of Chicago alone.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Colleges of Chicago have partnered with the Department of Defense to scout for the top talent pool of students, veterans and military to participate in this state of the art pilot program based on the boot camp at Fort McNair. This six month program will train participants in cybersecurity best practices to protect critical computer networks in the public and private sectors. However, they will have to pass a very challenging cyber competency exam upon completion. The “Offensive Security Certified Professional Certification Test” is a key credential in the cybersecurity world.
This city-federal investment further solidifies Chicago’s strength to continue its economic growth and build itself as the Midwest tech mecca. The pilot program is being funded by $1 million in Chicago’s unclaimed property tax rebate and $500,000 from the Department of Defense.
Wright Junior College prides itself as CCC’s Center of Excellence for IT education. Cyber Boot Camp Students will attend classes on campus. The college already has a strong IT offering; however, students will find future curriculum with even more programs and degrees. Wright already has exclusive partnerships with Chicago’s IT industry leaders such as Accenture, Allstate, Aon, ComEd, Keeper Security and Microsoft. Together they are committed to supporting the students with internship opportunities, ongoing mentoring, recruitment and job placement, and CCC’s curriculum development.