Microsoft announces CyberShikshaa program expansion

Microsoft announces CyberShikshaa program expansion
Microsoft announces CyberShikshaa program expansion

Claiming to have trained 1,100 women and employed more than 800 women through multiple training batches, CyberShikshaa was launched by Microsoft and DSCI in 2018

The expansion of its CyberShikshaa program has been announced by Microsoft in association with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Tata STRIVE, and ICT Academy. To provide internships or job opportunities for 10,000 learners, in the next three years, the program aspires to reach 45,000 women and underserved youth with technical skills for careers in cybersecurity.

Claiming to have trained 1,100 women and employed more than 800 women through multiple training batches, CyberShikshaa was launched by Microsoft and DSCI in 2018. More than 5,000 underserved youth have also been trained in Cybersecurity Beginners modules. The latest addition to the CyberShikshaa portfolio launched in June 2022 for providing cybersecurity training to 400 faculty members – CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy will help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 students.

The focus of CyberShikshaa in its fifth year will be on leveraging industry partnerships and conducting specialized training for careers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry. The program, which aims to expand its reach into semi-urban and rural locations of the country, will offer AI/ML training for cybersecurity product development and enable cybersecurity certifications through an enhanced Cybersecurity Beginners program named “Ready4Cybersecurity.” More than 10,000 rural underserved youth will be enabled with Ready4Cybersecurity certifications.

Representing a 350% increase over an eight-year period, according to CyberSecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally by 2025. In India, cybersecurity jobs are projected to grow by 32% by 2028, the talent pool falls short by 42%. Only about 21% of the country’s cybersecurity workforce is represented by women. There is a large untapped opportunity to decrease this deficit by skilling and employing underrepresented groups given the massive talent shortage in a diverse cybersecurity workforce. The defender community must be equally diverse for understanding and succeeding against cyber adversaries when the latter comes from diverse backgrounds.

Rama Vedashree, former CEO, DSCI, who has steered the program since its inception, said, “The government and industry are working closely now more than ever to create a safer, resilient cyberspace. In the last four years, we have seen this program create significant impact by providing cybersecurity skilling and employment for women. We are confident that the expansion of CyberShikshaa for specialised training aimed towards specific sectors will help bridge the skills gap and provide organisations with industry-ready talent.”

Including Information Security, Application Security, Cloud Security, Cyber Forensics, Cryptography, and Network Security, among others, along with crucial employability skills such as workplace communication, email etiquette and interview preparation, the CyberShikshaa training curriculum comprises intensive training for more than 400 hours in several modules. Including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal, trainings are conducted in more than 100 centers across India.

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