Featured Utah Universities Get $5M for Cybersecurity and IT Courses

Published on November 10th, 2021 📆 | 7004 Views ⚑


Utah Universities Get $5M for Cybersecurity and IT Courses

Utah State University (USU) and Utah Valley University (UVU) announced plans this month to partner with tech industry leaders to train students for careers in cybersecurity and to meet emerging security threats, according to a news release from the universities.

The university-industry partnership, dubbed the Intermountain Intelligence, Industry and Security Consortium (I3SC), will be led by UVU’s Center for National Security Studies and USU’s Center for Anticipatory Intelligence. The program will establish stackable courses in computing, artificial intelligence, security analytics, cybersecurity, anticipatory intelligence and security studies, officials said.

According to the announcement, the initiative was established with the help of $5 million in state funding recently approved by Utah legislators for the state’s Deep Technology Talent Initiative, which aims to create undergraduate and graduate programs to train a statewide workforce with technical skills.

State officials say the initiative aims to fill workforce demands via multidisciplinary programs or stackable credential programs. It joins several other similar higher ed programs established recently throughout the U.S. to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity.

“Our state and country face a wide range of challenges, and the need for smart, skilled and experienced professionals is greater than ever,” Ryan Vogel, director of the Center for National Security Studies at UVU, said in a public statement. “The I3SC consortium between UVU, USU and Utah industries will be a major player in preparing the workforce that can meet these challenges and help secure Utah’s emerging technology sector.”

The consortium said the program will offer students a chance to gain work experience and do lab work with industry partners such as Adobe, AgilePQ, FireEye, Fortem Technologies, Northrop Grumman, USU’s Space Dynamics Lab and Strider.

The UVU-USU-led partnership comes amid an increase in cyber attacks involving ransomware against schools and workplaces during COVID-19, and a plethora of cybersecurity-related threats posed by hostile foreign governments, coinciding with the rise of remote learning and virtual telework.

Jeannie Johnson, director of the Center for Anticipatory Intelligence at USU, said the consortium will work in “unprecedented ways to prepare our graduates to be leaders in innovation, security and resilience.”

“The next advancement in higher education requires us to play as a team,” she said in a news release.

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