HP donates $250,000 to women studying IT Security

Any job a man can do, so can a woman. Sure, there are physical differences between the sexes, but that does not have to impede success. One industry that has primarily been a men's club is IT. Historically, being a computer nerd has been a guy thing. However, over the years, women have been embracing video games, computers and comic book conventions. An explanation of why could be due to an increased acceptance of nerd and geek activity in the media. TV shows like Big Bang Theory make it cool to be what was once deemed uncool.

Unfortunately, there is currently a shortage in the IT security sector. This is particularly troubling as there have been many breaches lately, most notably Target. With a need to fill vacant positions, HP wisely looks to women -- a group that is underrepresented in the field. The company announces that it is donating a quarter of a million dollars to a scholarship for women studying IT Security.

"The IT security jobs market will be 40 percent vacant in 2014, according to a new IT Security Jobs Study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by HP Enterprise Security Products. This gap in the talent pool is expected to grow, compounding today's reality that the adversary is innovating faster than the market can keep pace", says HP.

Art Gilliland, SVP and GM of HP explains, "the security industry has a pressing need for skilled security talent that can function fluidly in today's environment. With the new scholarship program for women in information security, as well as the expansion of HP’s academic program, HP will support security career growth and introduce new talent to the field.”

Below are some of the notable stipulations:

  • While there is no preset scholarship amount, students will be eligible for scholarships in the amount of $5,000-10,000 per individual each year, and can be awarded up to $20,000 total over a two year period.
  • For each individual, the scholarship is effective for two years, but the student must reapply after the first year to confirm continued interest in the security domain.
  • Scholarship winners will have the option to intern at HP, although it is not a mandatory requirement.
  • To apply, candidates will need to provide a statement of interest in the field of information security, a transcript and a statement of their current educational status.

HP should be applauded, not only for supporting women, but for looking to fill vacant IT Security positions. After all, since the world is so dependent on computers, this will make everyone safer. Still though, the embracing of women should not be minimized -- it is a wonderful gesture by HP. Like I said earlier, any job a man can do, so can a women. I would be proud to have a woman in charge of securing and monitoring my data, and you should too.

Are you a woman that is planning to take advantage of this scholarship? Tell me in the comments.

Image Credit: Creativa/Shutterstock

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