(ISC)² Pledges to Expand and Diversify the Cybersecurity Workforce with Free Certification Education and Exams for 1 Million

(ISC)² – the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals – recently announced the (ISC)² One Million Certified in Cybersecurity℠ program, pledging to put one million people through its foundational Certified in Cybersecurity entry-level certification exam and education program for free. The program builds upon the success of the (ISC)² ‘100K in the UK’ initiative, which pledged 100,000 free exams and course enrollments for UK residents earlier this year.

Announced during the Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House today, the program builds upon (ISC)² leadership in delivering solutions to our global cybersecurity workforce challenges. Research suggests organizations that focus on recruiting and developing entry-level cybersecurity staff – including those with little or no technical experience – accelerates the invaluable hands-on training the next generation of professionals needs to start a successful cybersecurity career.

Those who earn the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity certification – currently in the final stages of a global pilot program – will demonstrate to employers that they have the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for an entry-level cybersecurity role.

“For more than 30 years, (ISC)² has advocated for the advancement, expansion and enablement of the cybersecurity workforce. Our ‘100K in the UK’ program garnered more than 10,000 applicants in its first two months. It is a resounding call to action for organizations serious about expanding the cybersecurity workforce to make the necessary investments now to break down barriers and clear obstacles for anyone interested in a cybersecurity career,” said Clar Rosso, CEO, (ISC)². “We support the aims of the Biden Administration, the U.S. National Cyber Director and administrations around the world focused on this critical issue. We are proud to announce this initiative alongside so many others who share a strong commitment to addressing our cybersecurity workforce challenges and look forward to building the public-private partnerships needed to accomplish our goal of One Million Certified in Cybersecurity.”

How the Program will Work

Starting September 2022, (ISC)² will open registration. Qualified individuals will receive a free exam, as well as access to the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity online self-paced education course. The course provides a review of the subject matter published in the Certified in Cybersecurity exam outline, which shares the security concepts on which certification candidates will be evaluated, including:

  • Security Principles
  • Business Continuity (BC), Disaster Recovery (DR) and Incident Response Concepts
  • Access Controls Concepts
  • Network Security
  • Security Operations

University students, recent graduates, career changers and other professionals wishing to expand their skills and opportunities are encouraged to participate, especially individuals employed or seeking employment within small and midsized businesses.

(ISC)² will work closely with new and existing partner organizations to reach historically under-represented populations and encourage greater diversity within the cybersecurity community. (ISC)² has pledged that half of the expanded commitment – 500,000 course enrollments and exams – will be directed toward students of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), tribal organizations and women’s organizations across the U.S. and the globe.

After successfully completing the exam, candidates will become (ISC)² members with access to a wide array of professional development resources to help them throughout their careers. The (ISC)² entry-level cybersecurity certification is the first step on a career-long journey that will help cybersecurity professionals gain experience and work toward advanced qualifications such as the (ISC)² CISSP and (ISC)² CCSP.

A Global and National Skills Challenge

Research continues to reveal that organizations around the world do not have enough cybersecurity staff to adequately defend their networks from increasingly prevalent and sophisticated cyberattacks. (ISC)² estimates a global cybersecurity workforce gap of more than 2.7 million. While the U.S. cybersecurity workforce is comprised of more than 1.14 million people, according to (ISC)², the federal government estimates the country has more than 700,000 cybersecurity job vacancies.

(ISC)² created the Certified in Cybersecurity entry-level certification as part of a broad strategy to support and nurture a new generation of cybersecurity professionals entering the field.

For more information on the (ISC)² Certified in Cybersecurity, please visit: www.isc2.org/certified-in-cybersecurity.

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