03.16.17

Senator David Perdue Leads Effort To Revamp Cybersecurity Scholarship

Supports students pursing cybersecurity degrees at seven Georgia universities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), along with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), last week introduced the bipartisan DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017 to reinvigorate an existing DoD scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity fields who commit to working in a cybersecurity position at DoD upon graduation. 

“In the face of ever-evolving attacks from our adversaries, we must strengthen our cyber defense capabilities and support cybersecurity education efforts,” said Senator Perdue, a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity. “I’m proud Georgia is on the front lines of training the next generation of cybersecurity experts and I will continue working to expand on cybersecurity innovation.”

The DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017 would expand scholarships to students pursuing associate’s degrees at several community colleges and 2-year program students who attend institutions designated by the NSA and DHS as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs), which include the following Georgia universities: Armstrong State University, Augusta University, Columbus State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University, Middle Georgia State University, and University of North Georgia. 

Georgia Universities Applauded Senator Perdue’s Action:

  • “This scholarship presents opportunities for all involved, helping to meet the Department of Defense's demand for cyber professionals while assisting students with the rising cost of education,” said Dr. Linda M. Bleicken, President of Armstrong State University. “As a Center of Academic Excellence located near a major military installation, we are confident that this incentive will attract more transitioning service members, veterans, and military family members – exactly the type of talent that is needed to protect the vital interests of our nation.”
  • “We applaud Senator Perdue for supporting this bipartisan bill and for his efforts to improve cybersecurity workforce development through expanded educational opportunities,” said Dr. Brooks A. Keel, President of Augusta University. “There is a global urgency to develop a cybersecurity workforce, with expected sector growth estimated at 20 percent during the next decade. Augusta University’s Cyber Institute is a designated center of academic excellence for cybersecurity defense education. We are grateful for Senator Perdue’s support of a scholarship program that will empower students to consider this career path with less worry of educational debt and help universities to provide more high-impact cybersecurity leaders to the DOD workforce.”
  • “We are delighted to hear about any efforts that will make it easier for students to become proficient in cybersecurity, a popular academic program that simply cannot keep up with the workforce demands,” said Dr. Chris Markwood, President of Columbus State University. “Here at Columbus State University, we are putting significant efforts – including private local investments from companies such as TSYS -- into training students who can immediately help Fort Benning and our local Fortune 500 financial institutions.”
  • “New funding for DoD scholarships in cybersecurity is exciting for Kennesaw State and the timing is perfect,” said Dr. Traci Carte, Interim Executive Director of the Institute for Cybersecurity Workforce Development at Kennesaw State University. “For over 15 years, we’ve been committed to cybersecurity education. Last fall, KSU added to its portfolio an Institute on Cybersecurity Workforce Development and, in February, we had a new eMajor, BS in Cybersecurity, approved. A $1.5 million shortfall in cybersecurity trained workers is being projected by 2020 and recent data shows that more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled. It is crucial for the State of Georgia to attack this challenge head on. Incenting and supporting students through scholarships is a great way to support these efforts.”
  • “As a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, Middle Georgia State University is carefully following the progress of the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act,” said Dr. Alex Koohang, Dean of the School of Information Technology at Middle Georgia State University. “We stand ready to educate current and future generations of college students to take on roles defending our nation against digital threats, both foreign and domestic.  The DoD  Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017 could allow more students to benefit from our faculty’s knowledge and experience in preparation for careers supporting the security of our nation’s information infrastructure.”
  • “The DoD Cyber Scholarship Program is crucial to expanding access to cyber degree pathways, especially among rural, minority, and economically disadvantaged student groups,” said Dr. Bryson R. Payne, Director of the Center for Cyber Operations Education at the University of North Georgia. “An associate, bachelors, or advanced degree in cyber can change not just a student's future, it can open up opportunity for entire families and communities.  And, scholarship-for-service programs are a key factor in filling the workforce gap in government and public sector cyber job openings.”

###