Northrop Grumman and the University of Maryland announced June 11 that they are partnering to create an honors education program that will train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. This endeavor, the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), will teach students about the ever-changing and evolving aspects of cybersecurity under the guidance of corporate and government mentors.
According to the press release, computer science, engineering, business, public policy and social sciences students learn forensics, reverse engineering, coding, criminology, law and public policy. They’ll also have the option to intern with Northrop Grumman and prepare for security clearance.
Northrop Grumman and the University of Maryland plan to train a crop of students who will meet America’s growing demand for cybersecurity pros. Northrop Grumman will supply a $1.1 million grant for the program initially, which the university will match. The program’s set to begin in fall 2013.
Patrick O’Shea, the university’s vice president for research, has high hopes for the program. “We expect that ACES, like our other honors programs, will become a national model for preparing young people to excel in emerging, multidisciplinary fields,” said O’Shea in a statement.
The program could fulfill a great need if it’s a success. University Chancellor William Kirwan claimed that the world needs these types of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pros to answer complex problems. “The need for STEM professionals throughout the United States is critical and partnerships with industry leaders represent one of the most effective approaches we can take,” he said.
Government leaders are also hopeful, including Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer. “It is critical to our nation's security that we build a competitive workforce that can take on the cybersecurity issues our military, businesses, financial institutions and others face,” he said. “I commend the University of Maryland and Northrop Grumman for developing a program that will give our students the skills and real-world experience necessary to address these cyberthreats.”