Microsoft has expanded the CyberShikshaa programme in association with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Tata STRIVE and ICT Academy. Through it, the organisations aim to offer cybersecurity skilling programmes to 45,000 individuals and provide employment opportunities to 10,000 learners over the next three years.
Microsoft and DSCI launched CyberShikshaa in 2018 and has since trained 1,100 women and employed more than 800 women. More than 5,000 underserved youth have also been trained in Cybersecurity Beginners modules.
The latest addition to the programme – CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy – launched in 2022 will help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 others.
“As the cybersecurity threat landscape becomes more complex, investing in cybersecurity skilling is crucial,” said Rohini Srivathsa, national technology officer at Microsoft India. “These challenges are compounded by an acute shortage in skilled workforce. Demand for cybersecurity skills has increased by nearly 51 per cent over the past year, but there simply aren’t enough people with the cybersecurity skills needed to fill the open positions.
“With the continuous training and subsequent employment of women through CyberShikshaa, Microsoft and its partners are committed to building the next generation of security leaders and ensuring a vibrant and diverse cybersecurity workforce in India.”
The CyberShikshaa curriculum comprises training in several modules, including information security, application security, cloud security, cyber forensics, cryptography and network security, along with employability skills such as workplace communication, email etiquette and interview preparation.
It also includes a number of other learning initiatives, including a collaboration with Tata STRIVE, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Communications to trains young women and girls in rural colleges for cybersecurity jobs.
“The government and industry are working closely now more than ever to create a safer, resilient cyberspace,” said Rama Vedashree, former CEO of DSCI. “In the last four years, we have seen this program create significant impact by providing cybersecurity skilling and employment for women. We are confident that the expansion of CyberShikshaa for specialised trainings aimed towards specific sectors will help bridge the skills gap and provide organizations with industry-ready talent.”