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Scholarship Program Targets Need For Cyber Security Skills

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The Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, jointly run by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is becoming a widely recognized, indispensable program, particularly at a time when government demand for highly skilled information technology security professionals is rapidly climbing. The SANS Institute's Alan Paller says the U.S. government is desperate for cybersecurity professionals. "We probably have only 1,000 of those people in the whole country, and we need between 10,000 and 30,000 in the next couple of years," Paller says.

The SFS program was designed to increase and strengthen the federal government's core of cybersecurity professionals by underwriting two-year stipends for full-time students who specialize in information assurance at approved four-year colleges and universities in exchange for agreeing to serve at a federal agency in a cybersecurity position for at least two years. The program provides scholarships for tuition, room and board, and books. Since its creation in 2001, SFS has sent almost 900 students into federal cybersecurity positions. "We're looking for technologists who can build better mousetraps," says Mischel Kwon, director of DHS's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. "We're looking for analysts who can get to the real crux of the threat, and we're looking for writers who can articulate our geeking and beeping so that management, Congress, and the public can understand what we're talking about."

From Government Computer News
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