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New Loras College program aims to close cybersecurity employment gap in Iowa

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Loras College is partnering with an international organization to offer a “cybersecurity bootcamp” to people in the tri-state area.

The 24-week long program is meant to close the cybersecurity employment gap in Iowa. The bootcamp comes together as a partnership between Cybint, a cyber education company based in Israel, and Loras College. Heidi Nelson, Loras College’s director of graduate and continuing education programs, said the need for experts in cybersecurity is big, not only in the country, but specifically in Iowa.

“Right now there are 3,400 jobs in cybersecurity open in Iowa alone, that is a lot of jobs,” Nelson said. “The opportunities are certainly there even in our own state.”

Nelson explained, however, that there are not enough cyber professionals in the state to fill those jobs. She said the program is structured to ensure people can protect themselves and their organizations from emerging cyber threats.

Something they are hoping to achieve is that, by taking part in the program, people will feel encouraged into staying in Iowa for work.

“Many more places are looking for remote work for IT and cybersecurity,” Nelson said. “So even if someone wants to remain in Iowa but they found a job that is willing to allow them to work remotely and the job is based out of Minnesota they have that opportunity.”

Potential employers in Iowa include Wells Fargo, Integrity, and Dwolla.

Applications are currently being accepted for the first bootcamp which begins July 12, as well as for a second session beginning in late August. Prior IT or cybersecurity experience is not required. The program is open to anyone with at least a high school diploma.

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