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Cyber-Skills Shortage Means Students Are Being Recruited to Fight Off Hackers

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cybersecurity worker

Fewer than one in four candidates applying for cybersecurity positions are even qualified, one estimate says.

Credit: Smarter MSP

There aren't enough cybersecurity workers out there. According to one estimate, by 2021 an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will be unfilled. But Texas A&M University has found a way to solve its labor shortage in the short term. It's pairing student security beginners with AI software.

While the college's Security Operations Center does have some full-time employees, the majority of its security force is made up of students. Ten students currently work alongside AI software to detect, monitor, and remediate the threats.

This setup both trains students for roles at other companies and serves as cheap cybersecurity staff for the college. Texas A&M is having no trouble filling the positions. "We have never posted a job," says Daniel Basile, executive director of the Security Operations Center. "All of [the students] have heard about us through side channels."

Benjamin Cervantes, a senior majoring in technology management, came to work at the center a year and a half ago with the hope of getting experience to prepare him for a cybersecurity role in the military. He supports his schooling by using his coding skills 20 to 30 hours a week to analyze threats and work on AI software that can further automate the process of dealing with them.

From Technology Review
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