Content, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Educational Programs to Enhance Diversity in the Cybersecurity Profession

Digital classroom online education concept. School desks and laptop. 3d illustration.

New educational initiatives led by SANS Institute and the Center for Cyber Safety Education are designed to enhance diversity in the cybersecurity profession, the organizations announced in prepared statements.

SANS Institute, a provider of cybersecurity training worldwide, has expanded its SANS HBCU+ Academy to serve additional Black American communities in the U.S. Meanwhile, The Center for Cyber Safety and Education, the charitable foundation of (ISC)², announced that it is accepting applications for the Raytheon Technologies Underrepresented Minorities in Cybersecurity Scholarship, which will provide $30,000 in cybersecurity scholarships this year.

SANS Institute Serves HBCUs and More

The SANS HBCU+ Academy offers opportunities for students and individuals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs) and other Black American college students. The academy’s programs provide hands-on cybersecurity training and real-world experience, free of charge.

Accordingly, the SANS HBCU+ Academy is addressing the underrepresentation in cybersecurity by offering accelerated, full scholarships for cybersecurity training and GIAC certifications to launch careers in cybersecurity for individuals with no previous experience.

Through the SANS HBCU+ Academy, participants will receive in-depth training from top SANS instructors and access to cutting-edge cybersecurity tools and techniques, the organization said. The program is designed to be flexible, allowing students to complete the training around their academic schedules and gain practical experience in a real-world setting.

Commenting on the initiative, Monisha Bush, SANS Mission Programs and Partnerships coordinator and a member of the SANS DEIB Task Force, said:

"We are proud and excited to see the SANS HBCU+ Academy expand. This program represents a significant investment in the future of the cybersecurity industry and the students who participate in it. By providing free, in-depth training and real-world experience, we are preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and ensuring a diverse and well-rounded workforce."

The application window for the SANS HBCU+ Academy has been extended to April 14, 2023, and is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students enrolled at HBCUs, MSIs and PBIs, as well as alumni who wish to shift careers into cybersecurity and selected Cyber FastTrack participants.

For more information on the SANS HBCU+ Academy and to apply, please visit:

Raytheon Funds Minorities in Cybersecurity Scholarship

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education is now accepting applications for the Raytheon Technologies Underrepresented Minorities in Cybersecurity Scholarship. The scholarship aims to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the cybersecurity industry.

Three $10,000 scholarships will be awarded to individuals from historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Qualifying groups include, but are not limited to, women, Black, Native American, Asian American & Pacific Islander, Hispanic, African American, LGBTQ+ and individuals with disabilities. The deadline to submit applications is May 1, 2023.

Commenting on his company’s support, Jon Check, executive director of Cyber Protection Solutions at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, said:

"In order to meet the rising tide of cybersecurity threats, we must attract a diverse workforce to develop the best solutions for the challenges we will face in the future. The lack of diversity in STEM career fields is well documented as is the business case for greater diversity. Welcoming in diverse talent, some of whom historically haven't been connected to the cybersecurity industry, will lead to more creative brainstorming, problem solving and new ideas."

Applications will be evaluated based on passion, merit and financial need. Candidates must be high school seniors, undergraduate or graduate students, and have at least a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale. To complete an application or learn more about the Raytheon Technologies Underrepresented Minorities in Cybersecurity Scholarship, visit

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.