When a creative company and a well-networked non-profit link to address a major social problem some very good things may happen.
To address the global workforce gap in cyber security and provide new opportunities for young adults, Symantec — a CSR leader — has just launched the Symantec Cyber Career Connection, mainly for those unlikely to be college-bound. And to increase the diversity of its network, it has partnered with Net Impact — the premier organization of concerned college students and recent graduates — to bring new opportunities to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBUCs) and women’s colleges.
In announcing the Cyber Career Connection, Cecily Joseph, vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec, explained that Symantec believes it can “help solve the cyber career gap and move underserved young adults — including people of color, women and veterans — out of low-end jobs and into highly paid and meaningful careers … SC3 will also help us meet the critical needs of our customers [the business case] and strengthen national security in challenging national economic times.”
The SC3 program will include a cyber security curriculum developed with non-profits; a virtual mentorship program; and internships as well as assistance in finding jobs in the company’s network of customers and partners. In a business sector with some 300,000 cyber security jobs vacant in the United States, it’s estimated that 60,000 of them could be filled by individuals without a four-year degree.
The Symantec partnership with Net Impact is based on the company’s belief that attracting, retaining and fully engaging diverse talent leads to enhanced innovation and creativity. Net Impact assessed the outcome of its partnership with the company this way: “We directly impacted underrepresented students by giving them opportunities to lead positive change on their campuses through skill-building programs, connect with a community of like-minded peers committed to making a social ad environmental impact, and engage through meaningful events, activities and networking opportunities with Symantec employees.”