APRIL 26, 2021: THE JOURNEY BEGINS
On April 26, 2021 the paperwork was filed to establish Phoenix Cyber Academy Inc. as an Arizona non profit vocational education organization. Although this was the first ‘official’ step towards establishing the program it was preceded by nearly two years of thought, planning, and consideration.
Like many others, I have seen and heard the regular stories about the severe lack of skilled cyber security professionals. One source claims that “there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021, up from 1 million positions in 2014.” Of course, not all of these are entry-level positions requiring no experience.
However, a recent LinkedIn poll conducted by Arizona-based Cyber Security Training and Consulting LLC revealed that 62% of respondents would hire a person with basic cyber security certifications but no experience over a recent college graduate with no certs or experience. That’s definitely encouraging news for our students.
What’s also encouraging is that the median salary for entry-level cyber security jobs pays just over $70K per year. One key barrier to making a career change or even simply entering the field are time and money.
Our approach is to reduce both in order to expedite students entering the cyber security job market.
Despite our motivation and desire to help those who want to enter the field of cyber security, we can’t do it alone. We need employers to partner with us. If organizations want to reduce the risk of cyber threats they will need to hire more entry-level cybersecurity professionals. By partnering with us, employers will have access to a steady stream of highly-trained and motivated entry-level cyber security candidates.
By filing our paperwork and launching our site, we have established a presence of sorts; people can see what we are offering and connect with us. In one month, we will physically establish a foothold at the Mesa Center for Higher Education as members of the LaunchPoint program.
This 53,000-square-foot technology accelerator grants us and our partners access to 13 classrooms; six fully-equipped science and engineering labs; offices; co-working space; conference rooms; and numerous study and gathering spaces.
Despite our curriculum being established, we still have a bit of work to customize the 4-week cyber security career accelerator program.
Over the coming weeks and months we will also begin the process of building relationships with local Arizona employers. This process will allow us to refine our employer partner program and help build a pipeline of open and/or forecasted entry-level cyber security jobs.
Of course, we will also continue the path towards federal 501(c)(3) non profit status. We are optimistic this will be completed before the end of the year. Doing so guarantees donors both state and federal tax benefits.
HOW TO HELP
For those interested in being a part of our exciting journey, we simply ask that you look at the site, explore our program, and, if you like what you see, then please contact us.
Looking to help? Visit our Giving & Partnering page.
Looking to enroll? Visit our Enrollment page.