The Arkansas Office of Skills Development has awarded the Forge Institute $1.67 million over three years to be used as scholarships for tuition assistance for Arkansans who meet educational requirements. The initiative and collaboration will open career doors for the Arkansans and also help the state’s cyber defenses.
Applications are now being accepted for tuition assistance for the Forge Institute IT and Cyber Skills bootcamps. Classes are instructor-led and offered in the Little Rock classroom as well as virtually. Course options include day and evening courses. To apply for courses, Click here.
“Cybercrime is projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion a year by 2025,” said Scott Anderson, executive director of the Forge Institute. “Recent events in Europe have only underscored the vital need for a workforce trained in cybersecurity. This partnership with OSD is an incredible opportunity for the people of Arkansas.
Class space is limited, so it is important for those interested in tuition assistance to apply as soon as possible. Candidates can choose between IT/Cyber Fundamentals – a multi-week course that provides foundational training for those interested in pursuing a career in information technology and cybersecurity – and the Cyber Training Bootcamp, which is a 14-week program that provides the required foundational training needed to become a cybersecurity analyst. Cybersecurity analysts are the preferred entry-level positions in cybersecurity teams.
“Our partnership with the Forge Institute has grown over the years, becoming a critical part of our statewide next-generation workforce development strategy. The Arkansans have an incredible ability to tackle various jobs in a wide range of technology-driven industries. Our job is to help prepare a pipeline of workforce-ready people who can meet the needs of employers today and tomorrow. The recent grant awarded to the Forge Institute is a vital part of enabling us to provide tuition assistance to Arkansans to advance their career plans in the cyber and computing fields,” said Cody Waits, Director of the OSD.
According to Anderson, the initiative between Forge Institute and OSD is not just an opportunity for individual Arkansans, but a necessity for organizations to adequately strengthen their cybersecurity.
“The first, second, and best line of cyber defense is a well-trained workforce,” Anderson said. “Nearly every industry in Arkansas is driven by technology, but 95% of cyber breaches are the result of human error. Properly trained personnel can help prevent significant financial loss for organizations.”
In light of recent world events, including threats from geopolitical events, there is a high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals. The Forge Institute’s IT basics and cyber bootcamp have become essential pathways to a rewarding career in cybersecurity and other areas of IT.
“Proper training means hands-on keyboard training personally led by highly experienced instructors. Forge Institute has developed a strong course academy to meet the needs of employers by helping Arkansans become ‘workforce ready’ .
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