Hoping to nudge bright students toward degrees and eventual careers in cybersecurity, the FBI has deployed a pilot program in high schools nationwide, said Howard Marshall, deputy assistant director of the bureau’s cybersecurity division.
The program, led by 10 different FBI field offices, encourages young people to engage in and study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
FBI officials hope this program will help them recruit more innovative, tech-savvy agents and investigators in a few years, when those same high schoolers are ready to join the workforce. Currently, cyber workforce recruitment “is a huge challenge for us, maybe one of our biggest,” Marshall said Wednesday at CyberTalks in Washington, D.C.
“What we want to do is get to these kids in high school, get them into STEM programs and then we want to get them into colleges and universities that sponsor Scholarship for Service,” Marshall said.
The Scholarship for Service program, part of the National Science Foundation, offers free college tuition for students studying cybersecurity, in exchange for their pledge to work for the government after earning a degree.
“During those summers off, between semesters, we want to bring [the students] in as college interns and get their clearances done and passed and get them on board to start working with us so they can understand what the mission is,” Marshall said. “And then guarantee those folks a job when they graduate, provided they follow their course study and make the grades.”
CyberScoop’s Chris Bing has more.