Microsoft has announced that it would be launching new partnerships in Asia as part of its Ready4Cybersecurity initiative. The company’s goal is to train and certify one million young women and young people from underrepresented groups in cybersecurity by the year 2025. The Ready4Cybersecurity initiative is currently in its second year, and the firm has stated that the new alliances would increase prospects for employment in the field of cybersecurity, address the skills gap, and establish a diverse cybersecurity workforce.
Microsoft’s Regional Philanthropies Director for Asia, Manju Dhasmana, said in a statement that the company is “committed to working with local education, nonprofit, government, and business organisations, through such programmes as Ready4Cybersecurity, to develop partnerships and initiatives to improve access to cybersecurity skilling and to empower more women and underserved communities to pursue a career in this critical industry.” “We are committed to working with local education, nonprofit, government, and business organisations,” Dhasmana said.
The Ready4Cybersecurity initiative, which is a component of Microsoft’s global Cybersecurity Skilling Initiative, was developed and is being curated with the express purpose of generating alternate pathways to empower underserved young people who are interested in working in the field of cybersecurity. The organisation estimates that the need for employees with knowledge of cybersecurity would expand by a factor of three hundred fifty over the next eight years, leading to the creation of an additional 3.5 million jobs worldwide in the field of cybersecurity by the year 2025.
Given that women only make up 25 percent of the workforce in the cybersecurity industry worldwide, there is a massive amount of opportunity for women to work in the industry. Ready4Cybersecurity will provide access to industry-recognized cybersecurity foundational and intermediate skills and certification to traditionally excluded populations through public-private partnerships, according to the tech giant. This will help traditionally excluded populations qualify for open roles, with 75 percent of those trained being women.
Over 19,800 people from underprivileged regions have received training from Microsoft ever since the company launched its Ready4Cybersecurity programme in 2022. The company has also provided up to 18,300 cyber skilling projects. The Cybershikshaa for Educators initiative was started by Microsoft in 2022 with the goal of assisting in the provision of cybersecurity skills training to a total of 400 faculty members across 100 universities.
Microsoft made the announcement in January that it will be partnering with India’s National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) to teach young people in India cybersecurity skills in preparation for employment. In the first year of the collaboration’s implementation, employment opportunities are intended to be made available to 1,100 underserved young adults. Additionally, it is anticipated that 3,500 learners will participate in training and either gain internships or career possibilities in the field of cybersecurity. Additionally, Microsoft is working along with TATA STRIVE to provide cybersecurity education to the staff and students of 11 different universities and colleges.