The National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Defense (DoD), has recently awarded a nearly $6 million Cyber Security Workforce Development grant to a consortium of universities including UNC Charlotte. The UNC Charlotte’s effort is led by Dr. Fareena Saqib, Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Member of Cyber DNA Centre. Other institutions in the consortium include College of Technology at Purdue University Northwest (PNW), Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The two-year grant commencing from September 2020 will allow the consortium to develop an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity certification-based national training program for more than 425 transitioning military, first responders, and other adult trainees. The training program will be offered online and free of charge to the trainees. During first year of the grant, the coalition will develop an artificial intelligence-cybersecurity curriculum. This will allow pathways to be created for trainees to pursue degree programs at the partaking institutions. During the second year of the grant, the trainees are expected to take certification exams and to earn industry and government recognized certifications. The consortium’s efforts will contribute significantly to national workforce development in the field of AI and cybersecurity.