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Tripwire and LifeJourney Give Students Lowdown on Cybersecurity Jobs

Tripwire is pursuing a new initiative to help attract more students to the cybersecurity field. The security company has signed on with LifeJourney, which provides career simulation resources to help students understand what's involved in various types of jobs in the cybersecurity area.

The Tripwire sponsorship focuses on the work done by risk managers. In a series of videos Rick McClure, a content quality assurance lead at Tripwire, explains what his job as a risk manager entails. Students who view the videos can also send him email with specific questions about his job.

"The goal is to get more students considering cybersecurity as a career path," said company spokeswoman Shelley Boose. "It's very well paid; there's huge demand that's unfilled right now; and many students graduating in engineering haven't taken the classes they need to pursue cybersecurity. So we need more of them to think about it early on — even as early as middle school, where they can take more science, more engineering and more mathematics courses so that when they get to university level, [they] will have the foundation they need so they can go into these specialized fields."

LifeJourney is a subscription service for schools, districts and colleges designed to help students understand what various careers are really like by profiling individuals who hold those jobs. Those same individuals act as "mentors" to answer questions not covered by the videos.

The service also provides virtual "field trips." For example, one job role includes an activity called "Clearable," in which students answer questions about their social networking activities to compare them against the criteria by which a security clearance is granted in order to help them understand how their online actions could affect their long-term career goals.

"Unless the cybersecurity industry actively collaborates with academia, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals will continue to limit our ability to defend critical infrastructure and impact economic growth," said Tripwire CEO Jim Johnson. "Programs like LifeJourney that accelerate math, technology, engineering and science literacy are critical to building the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. This initiative fits perfectly with Tripwire's long-standing commitment to expanding cybersecurity education."

Participation in LifeJourney isn't the only academic endeavor for Tripwire. Recently, the company announced an agreement with Penn State University in which the university would take over management of a cloud-based service that provides analytics on security performance based on anonymized reporting by participating organizations. Tripwire also collaborates with universities in Oregon, where its headquarters are located, by providing engineering expertise in the form of classroom lectures and demonstrations. Now it is seeking to set up comparable partnerships in the Atlanta area, where its research organization is based.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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