MAGIC Makes use of $15,000 RMC Grant To Reimagine Cybersecurity Careers In Rural Communities

MAGIC Makes use of ,000 RMC Grant To Reimagine Cybersecurity Careers In Rural Communities
Graham Dodge, MAGIC executive director and Autumn Becker, director of Western MD IT Center of Excellence at Allegany College of Maryland, check out the new Hack Lab at Allegany College of Maryland. MAGIC and Allegany College of Maryland are new partners thanks to a $15,000 MAERDAF grant, administered by the Rural Maryland Council.  (Photo supplied by Allegany College of Maryland and is intended for publication)
Graham Dodge, MAGIC government director and Autumn Becker, director of Western MD IT Heart of Excellence at Allegany Faculty of Maryland, take a look at the brand new Hack Lab at Allegany Faculty of Maryland. MAGIC and Allegany Faculty of Maryland are new companions because of a $15,000 MAERDAF grant, administered by the Rural Maryland Council.  (Picture provided by Allegany Faculty of Maryland and is meant for publication) 

WESTMINSTER, Md. – In keeping with a report by Lightcast, a worldwide chief in labor market analytics, a couple of million People work within the cybersecurity trade. But every year an estimated 715,000 cybersecurity jobs stay unfilled. Extra importantly, the issue isn’t going away anytime quickly.  

Whereas an enormous provide and demand hole in any trade is troubling, what’s much more regarding is the rise within the variety of incidents in ransomware assaults, information breaches and different cyber-attacks. One Westminster, MD, non-profit group seeks to handle the unmet want for future cybersecurity professionals in addition to a need to reverse the brain-drain pattern in rural communities. 

The grant challenge known as CyberJobs is the creation of Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, Inc. (MAGIC), and is supported by a $15,000 Maryland Agricultural Schooling and Rural Growth Help Fund (MAERDAF) grant, administered by the Rural Maryland Council.   

The premise behind the grant is that when you expose college students to cybersecurity careers via enjoyable and fascinating actions like hackathons and Seize the Flag competitions individuals not solely be taught logical considering abilities and teamwork, but additionally get a really feel for what it could be like working within the trade.  

In keeping with MAGIC Government Director Graham Dodge giving college students a sneak peek into cybersecurity careers is essential particularly to college students residing in rural Maryland. “College students in our rural communities see life in two totally different worlds: one that’s marketed to them from afar, and the opposite that they really dwell in. At MAGIC, we’re all about displaying them simply how inside attain a profession in IT and cybersecurity could be with the proper abilities,” says Dodge. 

However Dodge takes it one step additional. It’s not sufficient that rural college students see the probabilities of a future profession in cybersecurity he believes that these jobs could be obtainable proper in their very own communities. “Silicon Valley has extra in frequent with small communities than giant cities. The subsequent Silicon Valley might very nicely occur in Maryland’s rural communities like Westminster the place the standard of life is excessive and the price of residing is low. In a really possible way we are able to entice extra know-how corporations to those rural Foremost Road communities to recreate the success of Silicon Valley,” he provides.  

Because of the CyberJobs grant challenge MAGIC has been capable of increase this system into new rural counties, together with Allegany, Charles, Frederick, Carroll, Garrett, and St. Mary’s counties and interact new companions to assist meet their grant targets. One of many companions that MAGIC secured on account of the grant is Allegany Faculty of Maryland.  

“Our partnership with MAGIC superbly aligns with our IT profession pathway applications like our P-TECH program (Pathways in Know-how, Early Faculty Excessive College),” says Autumn Becker, director of Western MD IT Heart of Excellence at Allegany Faculty of Maryland, Cumberland, MD. “We’re extremely grateful to MAGIC for reaching out to us and to the Rural Maryland Council for funding this chance for our college students. In rural components of the state actions like this will include monetary constraints,” she provides. 

For current graduates like Michael Gardner who participated in MAGIC hackathons as a part of the Cyber Membership on the Faculty of Southern Maryland, the chance to realize a glimpse into cybersecurity has been a few years within the making. “By hackathons I get to expertise the unlawful aspect of hacking, solely legally,” says Gardner. “I began gaming once I was three-years-old. By the point I used to be a seventh grader I used to be constructing and fixing computer systems. My dream job is to work in cybersecurity on the Pentagon and acquire the best clearance potential to defend nationwide safety,” he provides.  

Maybe at some point Gardner and different college students who not solely research and work arduous, but additionally imagine {that a} profession in cybersecurity isn’t depending on the place you reside, however the abilities you’ve, will land their dream jobs. 

“The CyberJobs grant challenge confronted some challenges at first of the pandemic, however MAGIC cast forward to increase its program,” says Charlotte Davis, RMC government director. “This challenge was notably enticing to RMC as a result of it not solely affected a number of rural counties, but additionally had elements of financial growth and workforce growth,” she provides. 

To be taught extra in regards to the Rural Maryland Council and the way its connects neighborhood leaders, faculties, organizations and companies to assets to handle challenges in rural Maryland, go to ruralmatters.web, name (410) 841-5774, or e mail whats [email protected]