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THE SANS INSTITUTE RECEIVES EARN MARYLAND GRANT RENEWAL; CONTINUES TO GROW STATE'S CYBERSECURITY TALENT PIPELINE

SANS Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland, a partnership between SANS, State Government, Industry and Nonprofits, renewed through 2021

  • Bethesda, MD
  • July 17, 2019

The SANS Institute today announced an expansion of funding for the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland, a program designed to develop the cybersecurity talent pipeline across the Old Line State. The Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland was originally launched in 2018 through an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Implementation Grant from the Maryland Department of Labor. This year’s EARN grant renewal enables SANS to extend the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland through May 2021.

Since its inception, the program has trained over 75 qualified Maryland residents, with a focus on enrolling women, veterans, and minorities; providing real-world, hands-on cybersecurity skills valued by employers. Training is held at various locations throughout Maryland and online. With the grant renewal, the Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland will be able to serve another 95 participants. Applications will re-open this week and candidates will be considered on an ongoing basis. Program details and cohort schedules are available at https://www.sans.org/cyberworkforce-md.

"The Maryland Department of Labor is pleased to continue our partnership with the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy through EARN Maryland," said Acting Secretary James Rzepkowski, "This program is successfully helping to meet the critical need for a highly skilled cyber security workforce while providing invaluable opportunities for women, veterans, and minorities."

Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland graduates are working in a variety of technical cybersecurity positions for leading local employers such as GEICO, IronNet Cybersecurity, and Booz Allen Hamilton. One such example is Yesi Flores, a USMC veteran who worked in retail prior to selection for the Academy. Upon successfully completing his training and achieving two industry-recognized GIAC certifications, Yesi secured a job as a SOC Analyst at nearly triple his previous income. He’s since moved on to an even more advanced role with BlackBerry. Cyber Workforce Academy –Maryland graduates are making a difference and helping defend their employers’ networks and critical infrastructure, working as cyber analysts, security analysts, SOC analysts, system administrators, system engineers and more.

“If you told me one and a half years ago that I would be in the job I have now, I would never have believed you,” says Whitney White, a 2018 graduate of the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland. “SANS training and GIAC certifications command great respect among employers. I graduated from the Academy in August and I was at my desk at GEICO in September. SANS is the reason I have my job today. SANS gave me a second chance at life,” continues White.

This accelerated cybersecurity training program offers students advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications and the hands-on cyber defense and incident handling skills sought after by Maryland employers. This Academy builds on the success of the SANS VetSuccess, Women’s, and Diversity Cyber Academies. Since 2015, these programs have provided scholarship-based cybersecurity training to more than 450 participants, with over 90% of successful graduates finding employment in cybersecurity.

“We are thrilled by Maryland’s continued investment in the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland to expand the region’s cybersecurity talent pool,” explained Thomas El-Khatib, founder and president, Craina Consulting Corp. “Chris Harper, a recent SANS Cyber Workforce Academy graduate and member of the National Guard, has been a GREAT hire. I have been highly impressed by his real-world technical skills and competencies and his valuable military experience. Chris now provides cybersecurity engineering support to an Army Medical system that he uses as a combat medic when on active duty. His ability to meet the complex demands of the job is a testament to his world-class SANS training.”

Additionally, SANS is partnering with 20 employers and several nonprofit organizations to support applicant recruitment and post-graduation job searches. The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu also help Academy graduates blend their newly acquired technical skills with communication and leadership techniques, to further promote their marketability.

For more information about the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy – Maryland, please visit https://www.sans.org/cyberworkforce-md. For more information about EARN Maryland, please visit http://www.labor.maryland.gov/earn/.

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 60 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates a practitioner's qualifications via over 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's degrees in cyber security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system—the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (https://www.sans.org)