Black Colleges: The New Leaders In Cyber Security?

[I]t’s no secret that young, black kids power two of the most popular social media networks: Twitter and Instagram.

According to a study published by Pew Research in 2013, Black, and Hispanic users favor Twitter and Instagram over any of the other social networks. Over 45% of Twitter’s user base is black and or Hispanic.

For Instagram, the engagement is higher, according to Pew’s findings. Combined, Black and Hispanic users make up over 57% of the photo sharing website’s user base.

Is there be a better way to use your technology and time, while expressing yourself outside of 140 characters and a few cool selfies for the Gram?

President Obama hopes to use these high levels of engagement with technology and the Internet, to strengthen the United States’ technology infrastructure.

The Obama Administration recently announced a $25 million grant for HBCU’s, in an attempt to attract young, minority students to study the field of Cybersecurity.

Last week, just before a gunman used his Delaware house for target practice, Vice President Biden was further down the East Coast at Norfolk University.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA5PZPq2swY
Joe Biden at Norfolk State, in Virginia. The Vice President announced a new initiative¬†with 13 HBCU’s participating. The goal is to train minority students for jobs in the cybersecurity field.

Biden announced plans for a new cybersecurity consortium of 13 participating HBCU’s. The Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium intends to teach students and prepare them to close a huge gap in skilled workers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematic’s fields.

The partnership between the government and the HBCU’s came about thanks to the rapid growth of cyber crime, a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

While estimates vary, globally, cyber crimes cost the world economy over $445 billion dollars annually. The criminal activity impacts businesses in more ways than just the loss of capital.

In the U.S., 69% of executives believe cybercrime presents an immediate threat to the growth of their business while another 59% feared their company would ultimately suffer an attack.

“New computing security graduates are crucial to creating the best defense from the countless, increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks that invade our privacy, cost us money and threaten our national security,” said Bo Yuan, a leading expert on the subject.

“In just the last two years, we have seen applications for the computing security degree grow dramatically,” said Yuan, who is also Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Computing Security Rochester Institute of Technology [RIT is not part of the program].

“In order to create effective computing security professionals, computing security programs need to be committed to providing students an outstanding educational experience, exposure to the newest technologies and a foundation for lifelong learning,” Yuan explained.

For the next five years, Norfolk State University will lead 12 other HBCU’s. These include Clark Atlanta, Bowie State University, Paine College, North Carolina A&T State University, South Carolina State University, Morris College and others who will participate in a new collaborative system.

All of the schools and laboratories in the Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium will be shared by students, to take advantage of each institution’s facilities, as well as to manage costs associated with the project.

At the end of the five years, the program, which is funded by the Department of Energy, will work with professionals in the health, business, and financial sectors. The intention is to match the graduate students with positions that suit their training and experience.

Now, an even more daunting decision exists for some. You can spend all day on Twitter, or Instagram looking at glamorous people or use that tablet or phone for the betterment of your future.