A discussion panel of industry professionals are sitting in chairs at a table on a stage

Speakers in the The Employment Landscape (left to right): Mark Iwanowski, Vice President Cognizant Technology; John Serafini, Director of National Labs at Allied Minds; Tami Gallupe, Director, Global Privacy & North America Information Security at Oracle, Nathan Nayman, Head of State & Local Relations at VISA, and Stephanie Sparks, Business & Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer for Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel Law (Robert Bain photo).

By: Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Are you interested in entering a field that has zero unemployment and endless opportunity? In a new effort to highlight a huge shortage of skilled workers in IT security, SJSU hosted the Edward Oates Symposium on Security in the Cyber Age Sept. 14 at the Student Union.

The one-day forum, sponsored by the College of Science and Ed Oates, alumnus and co-founder of Oracle, was intended to bring to light how SJSU can play a significant role in workforce development and educational training for cybersecurity.

“With this symposium, we hoped to achieve an increased awareness and sense of urgency in how important our role at SJSU is in preparing students in this critical STEM and interdisciplinary curricula and program,” said Director of Development Carol Beattie, who helped organize the event.

The event’s 300 participants included SJSU students, faculty, staff, and administrators, in addition to representatives from the private sector, government and higher education.

Panel discussions focused on the threats and roles of cybersecurity, as well as higher education’s contributions and employment opportunities in this emerging field.

Employment Landscape Panel Discussion

The symposium concluded with an employment landscape panel discussion probing insightful questions from the audience including: Who benefits from policy risks? What kinds of expertise and training are needed?  What are the first steps in setting curriculum for a discipline in cyber security?

President Mohammad Qayoumi provided closing comments, focusing on SJSU efforts to develop a program for cybersecurity training and certification in Silicon Valley. Qayoumi listed the corporate environment, the law, psychology, education and licensing as just a few aspects of an interdisciplinary approach to workforce development.

“We have to be a part of providing basic knowledge to kids down to the K-6 grade levels,” Qayoumi said. “Cybersecurity hygiene will become one of those survival skills that each and everyone of us needs to have.”

Qayoumi is working with the Bay Area Council on implementing infrastructure for SJSU’s planned Center for Security in the Cyber Age. Programs would include high school camps and community colleges programs, as well as graduate degrees and partnerships with corporations in Silicon Valley.

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