Mastercard joins cross-industry cybersecurity talent search

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Mastercard has joined forces with Microsoft, Workday and the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service to recruit younger prospects to work with the CIA, the FBI, the DoD and the EPA battling global cyberattacks.

The companies will provide resources to connect federal agencies and higher education institutions to enrich the pipeline for cybersecurity workers through the new Cybersecurity Talent Initiative, according to a Tuesday press release.

The move follows Mastercard's growing profile in tackling broad security problems plaguing the payments industry. Last fall Mastercard announced a collaboration with Microsoft on digital ID initiatives.

A deficit of skilled workers is widening, with more than 300,000 cybersecurity job openings over the last couple of years and a lack of trained workers to fill many of these roles, the organization said in the release.

“It will take a true collaboration between the public and private sectors to get the right resources in place to address the [cybersecurity] threat,” said Ron Green, Mastercard’s chief security officer, in the release.

Mastercard, along with the two other founding companies, invited other corporations and government agencies to join the effort. Selected participants will be trained and guaranteed two-year placement at a federal agency with cybersecurity opportunities, with options for private-sector employment to follow with up to $75,000 in student loan assistance, the release said.

As of June 2018, just 4% of federal cybersecurity workers were under the age of 30, according to the release. The effort aims to build a broader base of younger workers trained to secure federal computer networks and defend against cyberattacks, according to the release.

The first wave of participants will begin with the program in the summer or fall of 2020, the release said.

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