Cyber Workforce Development: Maryland's Thriving Partnership with SANS Institute Drives Career Growth and Bridges Cyber Skills Gap

Qualified individuals can access a 9-month, cost-free training journey towards a high-paying cybersecurity career, safeguarding our nation's digital future.

Bethesda, MD - The SANS Institute, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor, celebrates the continued success of the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland and its immediate expansion. This initiative, partially supported by the EARN Maryland program alongside the SANS Institute, has been pivotal in training residents to enter the cybersecurity workforce since 2018, with a particular focus on U.S. military veterans, women, and underrepresented communities. The Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland is specifically designed for local residents earning less than $80,000 annually, aiming to launch their careers as highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals. By providing intensive, accelerated training, the program prepares individuals with little to no prior experience in the field to become top-notch practitioners capable of making a substantial impact in their roles from day one.

To date, the academy has awarded 304 scholarships, successfully trained a multitude of students, and achieved a 96% employment rate among GIAC-certified graduates from the most recently completed EARN grant. This effort underscores Maryland's strategic commitment to building a resilient cyber infrastructure and a diverse, skilled workforce. With 35 employer partners offering hiring consideration to students and an impressive 87% of graduates achieving SANS GIAC certification, the academy is a cornerstone of Maryland's cybersecurity workforce development.

Participants in the academy will benefit from almost $23,000 in expert training and certification at no cost to them, providing key skills in cyber defense and incident handling. The SANS training courses and GIAC certifications are critical for launching a successful career in cybersecurity and validating skills to employers. Alumni of the program report an average starting wage growth of $48,000 per year (compared to wage before training), with most graduates landing jobs earning 90K or more per year. This demonstrates the program's capacity to not only fill the skills gap but also to provide economic advancement for participants.

Highlighting the transformative impact of the academy, alumni Hudson Woomer transitioned from a diverse background, including roles in project management and sales, to a fulfilling career in cybersecurity. After completing the SANS program and earning two GIAC certifications, Woomer secured a position as a Cyber Threat Specialist at Booz Allen Hamilton, with a salary quadruple his previous earnings! His success story exemplifies the profound career shifts that are possible through this program, validating the academy's effectiveness in equipping job seekers with in-demand skills.

"The ongoing results of the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy - Maryland are a testament to the program's excellence and our fruitful partnership with the state," explained Max Shuftan, SANS Director of Mission Programs & Partnerships, reflecting on six years of achievement. "It's inspiring to see the real-world impact as our graduates excel and employers consistently seek the high-caliber talent coming out of our academy."

Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu reinforced this sentiment, "The sustained success and impact of this program plus the continued investment from both EARN Maryland and SANS Institute is a clear indication of the enduring demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals. EARN graduates are not just filling jobs; they are elevating the industry standard, protecting local businesses, and driving forward Maryland's cybersecurity sector."

Maryland residents who are eager to make a significant career change are encouraged to apply and become part of the state's bright cyber future.

For more information and to apply, please visit SANS Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland.