Funding from Future Ready Iowa will cover tuition and supplies in an effort to bring more underrepresented Iowans into tech industry
When DeltaV Code School announced plans for a brand-new cybersecurity class earlier this year, a key goal was to bring more women, minorities, and low-income individuals inro Iowa’s tech workforce.
However, being able to pay for classes is a barrier that prevents many of those individuals from seizing that opportunity.
With that in mind, DeltaV has announced funding from Future Ready Iowa to pay full tuition for up to eight students in the first Cybersecurity class, which launches March 21.
Future Ready Iowa will provide tuition assistance and wrap-around support to 8 Iowans with financial need from underrepresented backgrounds in technology, such as women, U.S. military veterans, low-income households, people with disabilities, and ethnic and racial minorities. The grant will completely cover the costs for classes and supplies – including a new laptop computer for each student, that will be theirs to keep upon completion of the class.
“This Future Ready Iowa funding is critical for low-income Iowans that are looking to get into a high demand career in cybersecurity, but cannot afford the tuition and supplies needed for the relevant training,” said Aaron Horn, NewBoCo Executive Director. “ We are passionate about providing opportunities to individuals who have additional hurdles to overcome, and we are very thankful for the State of Iowa’s continued support.”
With cybersecurity threats becoming more common in the workplace, companies need more professionals who are trained to counter any attacks and install safety measures.
Applications are currently being accepted for the class, and all eight state-funded spots are currently available. The class runs through May 27,
“We need to help organizations prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks and threats in a rapidly changing environment,” said Dan Tuuri, DeltaV Program Instructor. “Students in this class will get real exposure to the ways that bad agents and criminals cause harm, and learn how businesses defend and recover.
“We really tried to tailor it to what makes sense here in Iowa, and in the Corridor.”
DeltaV’s course begins with brief instruction on networks, server administration, and cloud computing. It also covers artificial intelligence, physical security and disaster recovery planning, among other topics.
“The class is designed to make sense even to students who don’t previously have a lot of computer training,” Tuuri said.
DeltaV’s courses will feature industry professionals as guest lecturers, including those who have worked in industrial control systems, crime investigation, auditing, and network infrastructure.
Students will access digital libraries with tens of thousands of resources to support their learning.
The class ends with a multi-day live hacking scenario, in which students will put their skills to the test in responding to a simulated cyberattack.
Tuuri noted the 72-hour attack is designed to test more than just the computer skills of his students.
“Whenever we’re involved in anything, we need to learn how to take care of ourselves and how to not let our emotions get the best of us,” he said. “So if a student stays up all night trying to solve everything on day 1, they’ll be exhausted by day 2.
“Time management is critical, and by doing this 72-hour simulation, we’ll want students to apply some of those time-management lessons that we’ll have taught them in the class.”
Funding for the development and launch of the DeltaV Cybersecurity program was provided by the Cedar Grove Signature Fund. ProCircular in Coralville also has partnered with DeltaV to make the class a reality.
The need for developing cybersecurity training programs in Iowa is crucial, according to Brandon Potter, ProCircular’s chief technology officer.
“The DeltaV curriculum from NewBoCo gives our local market the ability to upskill talent and bring cyber resiliency to our backyard,” Potter said.
Tuuri noted the potential for job growth and income in the cybersecurity realm is massive. Information security analysts, for example, have a 31 percent job outlook growth, as well as a national median salary of $103,590, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, Tuuri said, the rewards of working in cybersecurity go beyond a paycheck.
“One day you might be protecting a hospital. The next day, you might be protecting educational records,” he said. “Maybe you’re protecting critical infrastructure, like water or electricity. You’re really making a difference every single day in the lives of your community.”
Those who are interested can view the upcoming schedule and apply at www.deltav.school.
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, Inc. (NewBoCo) is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NewBoCo’s programming supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and tech education to help Iowans become more resilient and thrive in a changing economy.