Google gives universities $25 million to get more students into cybersecurity

Google has awarded over two dozen colleges and universities $1 million each to expand their access to cybersecurity education.

The technology company created a fund last year in partnership with The Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics to provide money to higher education institutions for the establishment of educational clinics.

The hope is to create more opportunities for diverse, young professionals to get into the field as the demand for cybersecurity jobs continues to increase and hundreds of thousands of those positions remain open across the U.S., Google said. The clinics also provide students an opportunity to utilize those skills in their school communities.

Google’s investment in the schools’ cybersecurity clinics includes mentorship from volunteer Googlers, Titan Security Keys and scholarships for the Google Career Certificate in Cybersecurity.

Colleges and universities were asked to apply for the funding. Google said it originally planned to support 20 clinics but decided to contribute to more schools after reviewing “hundreds of compelling applications.”

The Lurie Children's Hospital in Illinois, which was the victim of a recent cyberattack
The Lurie Children's Hospital in Illinois, which was the victim of a recent cyberattack

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Ten of the chosen schools already received funding for their cybersecurity programs last year: The University of Alabama, University of Georgia - Athens, Indiana University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stillman College, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of California - Berkeley.

The programs at those schools have already proved to be successful, Google said.

“Students from the Google-supported clinic at Indiana University are helping local fire department employees put a plan in place if their online communications are compromised,” said the company. “And at Rochester Institute of Technology, students helped their local water authority review and improve their IT security configurations across their sites for threat detection and response processes.”

The additional 15 institutions that were chosen to receive the funds are:

  • Turtle Mountain Community College in North Dakota

  • The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Tougaloo College in Mississippi

  • West Virginia State University

  • University of Hawai’i Maui College

  • The University of Arizona

  • Eastern Washington University

  • Dakota State University

  • University of North Carolina Greensboro

  • Spelman College

  • Northeastern State University in Oklahoma

  • Trident Technical College in South Carolina

  • Franklin Cummings Tech in Boston

  • Howard University and the National Security Institute’s Cyber and Tech Center joint clinic

  • The Cyber Center of Excellence’s collaboration with California State University San Marcos, National University and San Diego State University

A job in technology security is considered one of the top 10 careers based on U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.