Microsoft is launching a national campaign with US community colleges to help train and employ 250,000 people into the cybersecurity workforce by 2025, President and Vice Chair Brad Smith announced on Thursday.
Microsoft committed earlier this year to invest $20 billion over five years toward advancing security solutions and protection of its customers, and another $150 million aimed at expanding cybersecurity training partnerships, Smith wrote in a blog that ran on Microsoft’s website.
“Until we redress the cybersecurity workforce shortage, we will fall short in strengthening the country’s cybersecurity protection,” Smith said. “That’s why today Microsoft is launching a national campaign with US community colleges to help skill and recruit into the cybersecurity workforce 250,000 people by 2025, representing half of the country’s workforce shortage.”
While some of the individuals who come under the Microsoft training and hire program will work for the tech giant itself, the vast majority will work for tens of thousands of other employers across the country, Smith said.
Microsoft was among major US corporations hit by hackers during the massive SolarWinds computer network affecting both the US private and public sectors in 2020.
Smith said the incident, particularly, got Microsoft searching for a deeper, long-term fix to the problem of skills shortage in technology security.
“We responded to the Solorigate incident in part by publishing more than 30 blogs so cybersecurity professionals could understand the technical issues and address them for their employers,” Smith said. “We found that a shortage of trained cybersecurity workers slowed our customers’ responses. In short, there were not enough people with the training needed to read everything we were writing.”
According to the blog, there were currently 464,200 open jobs in the United States that required cybersecurity skills, accounting for 6% of all open jobs in the country. For almost every two US cybersecurity jobs that were taken, a third sat empty because of skills shortage, the blog said.