Microsoft to Skill 100K young women in Cybersecurity by 2025
"We are committed to working with local education, nonprofit, government and business organisations, through such programmes as Ready4Cybersecurity, to develop partnerships and initiatives to improve access to cybersecurity skilling and to empower more women and underserved communities to pursue a career in this critical industry," Manju Dhasmana, Regional Philanthropies Director - Asia, Microsoft, said in a statement.
Microsoft's Ready4Cybersecurity programme, which is part of its global Cybersecurity Skilling Initiative, is specifically designed and curated to create alternative pathways to empower underrepresented youths who want to work in cybersecurity. According to the company, there are a projected 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs to be filled globally in 2025, with a 350 per cent increase in demand for people with cybersecurity skills over an eight-year period.
Given that women make up only 25 per cent of the cybersecurity workforce globally, the opportunity for women to work in cybersecurity is enormous. Through public-private partnerships, the tech giant said that the Ready4Cybersecurity will provide access to industry-recognised cybersecurity foundational and intermediate skills and certification to traditionally excluded populations to help them qualify for open roles -- with 75 per cent of individuals trained to be women.
Since the launch of the Ready4Cybersecurity programme in 2022, Microsoft has trained over 19,800 individuals from underserved communities, providing up to 18,300 cyber skilling initiatives. Microsoft launched the Cybershikshaa for Educators initiatives in 2022 to help provide cybersecurity skills training to 400 faculty members across 100 institutions.
In January, Microsoft announced a collaboration with the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) to train youth in cybersecurity skills for jobs in India. The collaboration aims to provide employment opportunities for 1,100 underserved youths in its pilot year of deployment and 3,500 learners are expected to undergo training and receive internship or employment opportunities in the cybersecurity field. Microsoft is also collaborating with TATA STRIVE to train faculty and students at 11 universities and colleges in cybersecurity.