Cybersecurity For Good: How NPower is Bringing Diversity and Opportunity to the Industry
Non-profit is helping to create a pathway to prosperity for individuals via tech training
We all know by now that cybersecurity skills shortages are a persistent and pervasive threat. As of 2020, there was a shortfall of over three million professionals globally, including over 359,000 in the US. We also know that there’s a huge opportunity to improve diversity in the industry by encouraging more talent from under-served communities to upskill and apply for roles.
Tackling both challenges simultaneously is where organizations like NPower come in. Through industry partnerships with Tanium and others, it’s making huge strides to achieve these goals.
As we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Tanium’s Global Month of Giving, it seemed like a great opportunity to sit down with NPower to hear more.
Skills shortages and underserved communities
The problem with tech in general, and security in particular, is growing public and private sector investments in digital transformation. As a result, demand for cyber experts in cloud computing, AI and IoT is off the charts.
Pandemic-linked digital spending and surging threat levels are only making matters more urgent for employers — with employment of information security analysts set to surge by 33% from 2020-2030, versus just 8% for all occupations.
At the same time, the number of female and minority workers in the industry continues to be woefully under-representative of society at large. There isn’t just a moral and social imperative for changing things: a diverse workforce is more innovative and productive.
What NPower does
NPower is a Brooklyn-based non-profit with nationwide operations and an impressive track record. Since 2000 it has provided free tech training to military veterans, their spouses and young people from underserved communities — to create a pathway from poverty to prosperity.
Over the past two decades, it has trained over 6,000 students, who typically start with a Tech Fundamentals course and can then specialize in cloud computing, cybersecurity and IT support via CompTIA and other accreditations.
Crucially, it works closely with corporate partners to ensure students have access to mentors, networking sessions and opportunities to turn what they’ve learned into the practical skills employers need.
NPower describes its approach as “end-to-end.” That means offering students help with resume writing and mock interview skills, as well as social support to overcome any obstacles that may otherwise block their studies. Some 81% of those who graduate get jobs or continue their education, with graduates experiencing a 361% average increase in their salary.
Its latest Command Shift initiative is designed to encourage more women of color into the tech industry and ensure that employers are committed to increasing diversity in this area.
An early backer
Tanium was an early corporate backer of NPower. We’ve got a great deal in common regarding the values and commitment to diversity and social mobility that underpin our corporate identity. That’s why we’ve worked hand-in-hand on NPower’s Advancing Tech Careers Collaborative initiative and our own Talent of Tomorrow program and 2% Giving Pledge over the years. And it’s why we’re looking to build even closer ties as Tanium experts get involved in mentoring and other volunteer opportunities with NPower.
October is officially the culmination of our annual efforts to donate time and profits to worthy causes — and make a meaningful impact on the lives of those that need it most. But with NPower, our commitment is all-year round. We’re looking forward to expanding this partnership and making a difference in the years ahead.
You can learn more about NPower and its pathways to prosperity initiatives in this “Endpoint” article.