Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith announced in Microsoft’s official blog that the company would be working with community colleges to teach and train 250,000 people to join the cybersecurity workforce by 2025. Some will move on to work with Microsoft, but the goal is to boost the entire industry, which is facing a dire shortage.
Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses, governments, and individuals as the world becomes increasingly digital, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. With ransomware attacks on the rise that are targeting major tech companies and governmental agencies, the need is greater than ever for a skilled workforce.
Microsoft had one of its data analytics teams pull data from a variety of sources, including LinkedIn and cyberseek.org, and found that “for almost every two cybersecurity jobs in the United States today, a third job is sitting empty because of a shortage of skilled people,” Smith wrote.
Currently, greater than one out of every 20 job openings in the U.S. requires a cybersecurity skillset; there are 464,200 open jobs within the cybersecurity industry or in a cybersecurity role. These jobs pay an average of $105,800 annually, and many do not require a four-year degree but instead certifications that are recognized industry-wide.
The solution that Microsoft has come to is to partner with community colleges to help train and fill the need within this incredibly important industry.
Image Source: Microsoft Official Blog
“Community colleges are the single greatest potential asset the United States has in expanding the cybersecurity workforce. They are one of the nation’s most remarkable and ubiquitous assets, and with some targeted assistance, they can move quickly to help address the cybersecurity workforce shortage,” Smith wrote in the blog.
Their plan is simple but ambitious: Microsoft plans to provide free curriculum to all public community colleges in the U.S., as well as training for new and existing faculty at 150 select community colleges. Additionally, they will be providing scholarships and resources to help 25,000 students pursuing cybersecurity education and certification.
“We want to give people across the country the opportunity to see more clearly something we see directly at Microsoft every day. If we’re going to protect the nation’s future, we need to strengthen cybersecurity protection. And we need a larger and more diverse cybersecurity workforce to succeed. Great jobs are waiting to be filled. Now we need to recruit the talent and provide the skills that people need,” Smith wrote.
Capturing Leveraged Growth of the Cybersecurity Industry With ProShares
The ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (UCYB ) is a leveraged ETF that tracks twice the daily returns of the Nasdaq CTA Cybersecurity Index, the same index tracked by the First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (CIBR ).
In fact, UCYB holds CIBR, then uses swaps contracts on that ETF to obtain leveraged exposure.
UCYB’s underlying benchmark tracks companies that build, implement, and manage security protocols for public and private networks. To be included, companies must have a minimum market cap of $250 million. Within the index, no singular security can carry more than 6% weight. Lower-volume securities have even tighter weighting restrictions.
As a leveraged fund, UCYB carries different, greater risks than non-leveraged funds, and should be actively monitored.
UCYB carries an expense ratio of 0.98% with a contractual waiver that ends on September 30, 2022.
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