Upholding its commitment to bridge the cybersecurity skills gap in the country, National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) and Microsoft today announced a collaboration to increase access to skills for jobs through CyberShikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity programs. Aiming primarily at underserved youth, women and jobseekers from remote areas, National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) and Microsoft will deploy CyberShikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity programs in 30 training centres of NIELIT in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, with a particular focus on Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and states in the North-East region of India. These programs would be scaled in subsequent years to integrate cybersecurity training programs in all the training centers of NIELIT.
The global cybersecurity skills gap and the lack of diversity in the workforce are among the urgent issues facing today’s digital economy. Studies show that 3.4 million people are needed to fill the global cybersecurity workforce gap. The collaboration between NIELIT and Microsoft will help reduce the talent deficit for cybersecurity professionals and provide employment opportunities for 1100 underserved youth in the pilot year of deployment.
Nearly 3,500 learners will undergo training and receive internship or employment opportunities for in-demand cybersecurity jobs. Besides providing grants for training, Microsoft’s support will include curriculum content, certifications, and mentorship opportunities. Current program partners Data Security Council of India, Tata Strive, ICT Academy and Quick Heal Foundation, will partner with NIELIT to deploy CyberShikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity training program. As the country’s premier institution for examination and certification in the field of Information, Electronics and Communications Technology (IECT), NIELIT aims to develop skilled professionals and provide support to learners and trainers both through design and development of curriculum and acquisition of content.
Combined with 90 hours of business English curriculum, CyberShikshaa will provide more than 400 hours of cybersecurity curriculum for underserved women engineering students and will be deployed in the NIELIT in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns. Including NIELIT’s Information Security curriculum, Ready4Cybersecurity is a 120-hour virtual instructor-led training program delivered by the NIELIT Centers for beginners in rural colleges and higher education institutions to be employable for in-demand job roles in the cybersecurity industry. Learners receiving industry certifications will also have access to internship opportunities through partner recruitment platforms of the Future Ready Talent Program. Both the programs will be deployed through NIELIT centers, focusing on the Northeast States, Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh enabling access to the latest technology courses for underserved youth and job seekers from remote regions.
Dr Madan Mohan Tripathi, Director General, NIELIT, said, “Recognizing the challenges owing to the lack of trained cybersecurity professionals, NIELIT is committed to training people for in-demand jobs, especially in remote regions, so that they can participate in today’s digital economy. This will enable a robust pool of skilled professionals who can help protect organizations from cyber threats. NIELIT welcomes this collaboration with Microsoft, which will not only multiply the skill sets through these training programs but also provide opportunities in terms of employment to the youth of the country.”
Dr Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India, said, “The threat landscape is becoming more sophisticated, and we need more diversity in our workforce to solve cybersecurity challenges swiftly and innovatively. Since its inception in 2018, the CyberShikshaa program has driven tremendous impact in skilling for the employability of women and underserved youth – and is now expanding to reach 45,000 learners over the next three years. We are delighted to partner with NIELIT and enable greater access to skills for jobs through this collaboration.”