Microsoft, Mastercard, Workday help create Cybersecurity Talent Initiative

Microsoft, Mastercard and Workday announced on Tuesday the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative – of which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and ten other federal agencies are participants.


It’s widely known that healthcare organizations have been grappling with the cybersecurity talent shortage. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ann Johnson said last month at the RSA 2019 Conference that the dearth will only get worse, resulting in as many as 3 million infosec jobs being open. 

[RSA 2019: An insider’s look at the premier cybersecurity conference] 

What’s more, UC Berkeley Psychology Professor Chrstina Maslach and Josh Corman, Chief Security Officer at PTC, agreed that burnout is a very real problem among cybersecurity professionals as society grows more reliant on the field for public safety issues.


Describing itself as a public-private coalition, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative will choose from student applicants working toward undergraduate or graduate degrees in areas related to cybersecurity, notably computer science, engineering, information systems and mathematics, the organization said.

The initiative will train accepted students, who could receive up to $75,000 in loan assistance, to join the cybersecurity workforce with a guaranteed position at a federal agency for two years.

Microsoft, Mastercard and Workday will also “designate certain positions specifically for program participants,” according to the group’s website.

The application process closes October 18, 2019 and the job placements will start in the summer of 2020.


In addition to HHS, the Cyber Talent Initiative includes Veterans Affairs, Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Federal Election Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Naval Intelligence and the Small Business Administration.

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