National Cybersecurity STEM Education Advisory Board

Industry leaders who have demonstrated leadership in the arenas of cybersecurity and STEM education have joined together to multiply the effectiveness of our efforts to expand and improve the educational opportunities that connect students with cybersecurity careers.

According to the Abell Foundation’s 2013 Cyber Security Jobs Report, there were more than 340,000 open cybersecurity positions across the nation.

It’s estimated that over 97% of our middle and high schools (approximately 25 million students) do not teach cybersecurity in the classroom. As such, students and parents lack awareness about the opportunities for future employment in cybersecurity and other STEM careers.

8,300 students drop out of high school every day in America, according to Education Week (2014). If these same students could have been engaged in cybersecurity prior to dropping out, they could have changed the course of their lives. For those students able to attend college, the selection of a major is shaped by interests cultivated in both middle and high school.

NICE was formed with the mission to develop a technology-skilled and cyber-savvy workforce and to build an effective pipeline of future employees. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is leading the NICE initiative, working with more than 20 federal departments and agencies and with industry and academia to ensure coordination, cooperation, focus, public engagement, technology transfer and sustainability. The ultimate aim is to accelerate our nation’s ability to introduce and inspire the next generation to pursue the key skills needed to drive our cybersecurity and STEM future. To be successful, we need to work with the same urgency and at the same pace as we saw in the space race of the 1960s.

Bringing together leaders from academia, industry, and government in a year-round effort called NICE365, the National Cybersecurity STEM Education Advisory Board was formed to accelerate cybersecurity and STEM education across the nation. Board members will be lending their expertise and insights to help ensure the quality and success of NICE programs and strategies, including the upcoming NICE National Conference.

More importantly, they will be helping to catalyze cybersecurity and STEM education initiatives that help to build a future workforce with the critical skills needed to protect the Nation and our economy.