Riverside City College (RCC) was awarded a three-year, $299,974 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Cyberpreneur certificate program. The Advanced Technological Education grant provides funding to educate students in cybersecurity and entrepreneurship to meet the cybersecurity needs of small- and medium-sized businesses who cannot afford to hire a cybersecurity team.
RCC will widen the pipeline of qualified individuals to perform Cyberpreneur work by identifying their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The program is targeting women and minorities. The College will work with business and industry leaders to create curriculum and develop hands-on training.
“We are excited about the opportunity this program presents for our diverse student population and community,” Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems-Cybersecurity Skip Berry and Professor of Business Administration Don Ajené Wilcoxson said. “There is no better feeling than knowing that we are directly impacting and benefitting the lives of our students, and this program will do just that.”
According to Berry and Wilcoxson, cybersecurity experts are in high-demand and the career path pays well. Program graduates will also take entrepreneurship courses, preparing them for a possible career as a business owner. The Cyberpreneur project addresses the widening cybersecurity technician gap by introducing the application of emerging artificial intelligence technologies in cyber defense to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of next-generation entrepreneurs. College leaders believe this program will have a significant impact on education, and quality of cyber defense technicians nationwide. It will serve as a direct path for students toward academic excellence and professional success.