Microsoft to skill 45,000 women, and underserved youth in 3 years

Microsoft to skill 45,000 women, youth in 3 years
In the next three years, the program aspires to reach 45,000 women and underserved youth with technical skills for careers in cybersecurity and provide internships or job opportunities for 10,000 learners.

Microsoft announced the expansion of its CyberShikshaa program in association with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Tata STRIVE, and ICT Academy.

In the next three years, the program aspires to reach 45,000 women and underserved youth with technical skills for careers in cybersecurity and provide internships or job opportunities for 10,000 learners.

More than 5000 underserved youth have also been trained in Cybersecurity Beginners modules. CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy, the latest addition to the CyberShikshaa portfolio launched in June 2022 for providing cybersecurity training to 400 faculty members.

It will help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 students.

In its fifth year, CyberShikshaa will focus on scaling the program, leveraging industry partnerships, and conducting specialized training for careers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry.

By 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally, representing a 350% increase over an eight-year period, according to CyberSecurity Ventures.

Expanding career pathways for women in cybersecurity, CyberShikshaa meets the twin objectives of addressing the gender divide and empowering underserved communities through technical training, mentoring internships, and employment opportunities.

Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, national technology officer, Microsoft India, said, “As the cybersecurity threat landscape becomes more complex, investing in cybersecurity skilling is crucial. These challenges are compounded by an acute shortage in skilled workforce.”

“Demand for cybersecurity skills has increased by nearly 51% over the past year, but there simply aren’t enough people with the cybersecurity skills needed to fill the open positions. With the continuous training and subsequent employment of women through CyberShikshaa, Microsoft and its partners are committed to building the next generation of security leaders and ensuring a vibrant and diverse cybersecurity workforce in India”, Dr. Rohini Srivathsa added.

The CyberShikshaa training curriculum comprises intensive training for more than 400 hours in several modules, 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. Various learning initiatives under this program include:

  • CyberShikshaa, in partnership with DSCI and Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA), an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), trains young women and girls from Tier II and III towns for careers in cybersecurity through training partners like C-DAC and NIELIT.
  • CyberShikshaa+, in partnership with Tata STRIVE, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Communications, trains young women and girls in rural colleges for cybersecurity jobs.
  • CyberShikshaa for Educators is designed for skilling faculty members and students from rural technical institutions for internships or jobs in cybersecurity.
  • CyberShikshaa Women in Break is a training program on data privacy for women looking to restart their careers after a break.
  • Ready4Cybersecurity is an awareness program for beginners in rural colleges and higher education institutions linked with industry certifications and internship opportunities.
  • CyberShikshaa Mentorship, offered by security experts in Microsoft Security, provides CyberShikshaa girl students with opportunities to improve technical knowledge, industry exposure and employability skills.
  • CyberShikshaa Customer Partnerships with corporate organizations and industry bodies are designed around employment, internship, and industry exposure sessions towards creating diverse industry-ready cybersecurity talent pool.

CyberShikshaa trainings are conducted in more than 100 centers across India, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.


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