LaGuardia Community College to play key role in city’s new cyber security initiative

LaGuardia Community College is partnering with the city to create a new workforce that can battle against cyber threats that target finance, healthcare, retail and media, among others.
By Bill Parry

LaGuardia Community College is joining forces with the city to create jobs to fight cyber threats.

The Long Island City-based institution will partner in a new initiative led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation called Cyber NYC, to “transform New York City into a global leader of cyber security innovation and talent to combat one of the world’s greatest threats,” according to the NYCEDC

Cyber NYC is expected to help spawn 10,000 good-paying jobs in the coming decade, providing an inlet to many New Yorkers from non-traditional backgrounds, particularly those from low-income families or who are otherwise disadvantaged. LaGuardia is the only community college specifically named as a program partner in Cyber NYC, as it has one of the largest tech training programs in the New York metropolitan area.

“Cyber NYC is an important investment by the city of New York as it provides a route into the well-paying, in-demand field of cyber security for all New Yorkers — enabling them to make better lives for themselves and their families,” LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow said. “With our experience training the next generation of tech professionals — more than 3,500 New Yorkers come through our technology programs each year — our bridge programs prepare students for high-intensity careers in the ever-changing world of work.”

LaGuardia will create what is known in the tech industry as a “Cyber Boot Camp,” where adults with minimal familiarity with cyber security will be placed in a six-week preparatory course at it’s Long Island City campus. The participants in the program will learn the basics of industry software and terminology, before continuing on to another boot camp operated by Fullstack Academy software development school in Lower Manhattan.

The Cyber Boot Camp will place more than 1,000 students in jobs that have an average starting salary of $65,000 per year over the first three years of the program.

“New York City needs to be ambitious about cybersecurity because our future depends on it,” NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett said. “Cyber NYC will fuel the next generation of cybersecurity innovation and talent, leveraging one of the world’s greatest threats to create a major economic anchor and up to 10,000 quality middle-class jobs.”

Cyber security attacks occur every 40 seconds across the globe, with over 3.8 billion internet users being affected in 2017, according to the NYCEDC. With key industries in finance, healthcare, retail and media — all major targets of cybersecurity attacks and the largest buyer-base of cyber security products — New York City has both a need and an opportunity to fuel homegrown innovation and talent.

“We’ve convened a world-class roster of partners to help us execute on this essential plan, which will help protect the industries and people that make this city the economic powerhouse it is today,” Patchett said.

The city will invest $30 million in Cyber NYC, leveraging up to an additional $70 million from private funding. Those interested in applying for the Cyber Boot Camp can visit www.LaGuardia edu/CyberNYC to learn more.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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