SANS Institute Awarded EARN Maryland Grant; Seeks to Grow State's Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline

Bethesda, Md. – Bethesda-based SANS Institute has been awarded an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Implementation Grant from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). SANS, the world's leading provider of cybersecurity training and certification, will use the funds to develop and launch the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland. DLLR and SANS will provide 80 qualified Maryland residents with full scholarships to a fast track to a career in cybersecurity. Training will be held at various locations throughout Maryland in conjunction with online classes. The program launches in January 2018 and will feature a series of cohorts through the end of 2019. Applications for the first cohort are now open and will close on March 8, 2018. Program details and cohort schedules are available at

"We are honored to be a recipient of the EARN Maryland Implementation Grant," said Alan Paller, Director of Research, SANS Institute. "By bringing together local stakeholders and forming collaborative partnerships, we are creating an environment that addresses the pervasive cyber talent gap impacting industry and government across Maryland.

This three-to-four-month accelerated cybersecurity training program offers students advanced technical training, industry-recognized GIAC certifications and hands-on cyber defense and incident handling skills sought by Maryland employers. The Academy will place an emphasis on recruiting veterans and women and builds on the success of the SANS VetSuccess and Women's Immersion Academies. Since 2015, these programs have provided scholarship-based cybersecurity training to more than 200 participants.

"As a veteran, I think it is wonderful that the SANS Institute has created this program and I thank the State of Maryland for its support as well," said John O'Keefe, CISO, GEICO Corporation. "We expect a significant shortage of cybersecurity talent in the future, so this is excellent news.

SANS is collaborating with industry and nonprofits to support applicant recruitment and post-graduation job searches. The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu will help Academy graduates blend their newly acquired technical skills with soft skills, such as communication and leadership, to increase their attractiveness to employers.

"The SANS Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland is just one more example of how the USO and our partners support the needs of our nation's defenders," said Pamela Horton, Vice President of Operations, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. "Transitioning military members are seeking up-to-date skills to complement the strong leadership attributes they obtained through their military career and the fast-growing cybersecurity field is a natural fit for many."

Leading Maryland employers across multiple sectors have committed to meeting with Academy graduates for employment consideration. Companies include:

  • CACI
  • Defense Point Security
  • NTT Security
  • ALTA IT Services
  • RBR-Technologies
  • Intellidyne
  • Dataprise
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • PLEX Solutions

According to Mike Mourelatos, CACI Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of National Services, "The SANS Institute is renowned and respected for its world-class cyber training. CACI is pleased to team with SANS on this critical workforce development initiative, which will help fill a pressing need for cybersecurity experts in industry and government."

"Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) is thrilled to infuse diversity into the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy as well as help students find career opportunities. Women, and a diverse workforce, in general, bring a variety of backgrounds, viewpoints, and ideas that help drive better and more innovative security solutions," said Lisa Jiggetts, Founder and CEO, WSC.

For more information about the SANS Cyber Workforce Academy Maryland, please visit For more information about Earn Maryland, please visit

About EARN Maryland

EARN Maryland is an innovative, industry-led initiative that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while preparing Marylanders for meaningful careers. The program, which has been recognized as a national best practice in workforce development, awards funding to strategic industry partnerships comprised of employers, non-profits, higher education, local workforce development boards, and local governments. (

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cyber security training events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, 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 support and educate the global information security community. (