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Department of Defense Brings Cybersecurity Bootcamp to Wright College

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is ramping up efforts to train and recruit more higher ed students to join the fight against cyber attacks. The department Wednesday announced it would introduce a “cybersecurity boot camp” this spring at Wright College, one of seven schools in the Chicago Community College (CCC) system.

The boot camp is modeled after a six-month course offered to military personnel at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. The Chicago Sun Times reported that 80 percent of McNair graduates pass the “Offensive Security Certified Professional Certification,” a popular credential in the field, compared to the less than 20 percent of other U.S. test takers who pass.

The bootcamp is funded through city-federal investments totalling approximately $1.5 million, including a $1 million investment from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Participating Wright College students will learn to secure public networks in the public and private sectors, CCC explained in a statement. The pilot program’s instructors will include active-duty military personnel. Several of Chicago’s IT professionals from surrounding companies will provide internships, mentorship and career opportunities, including Accenture, Allstate, Aon, ComEd, Keeper Security and Microsoft. Additionally, the City of Chicago said it would identify internship opportunities within its own IT departments, in an effort to create a pipeline of skilled workers for nearly 10,000 open IT jobs each year.

"Recent events on the national and global stage have demonstrated the critical need to secure our sensitive data and information technology – in the both the public and private sectors," said Emanuel, in a statement. "That's why the City of Chicago is partnering with DoD to prepare a highly-skilled workforce by tapping talent from the military, veterans and local students to meet the urgent needs of the military and employers where thousands of jobs are added in this field each year."   

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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