Excelsior’s NCI works to diversify the cybersecurity pipeline

Dr. Jane LeClair was recently interviewed by Kate Colborn, writer for the Diversity in Action magazine, about cybersecurity and its importance of diversifying the field.

“Women and minorities are poorly represented in STEM and the cybersecurity field. While women make up about 50 percent of the workforce, they only occupy about 25 percent of the workforce in STEM positions and less than 15 percent in cybersecurity positions,” reports Dr. Jane LeClair, chief operating officer of the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College. NCI opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 2013. It’s a research-based organization, and an integral part of Excelsior College in Albany, New York.

“Our purpose is to increase the awareness of cybersecurity through blogs, webinars, a peer-reviewed journal, our books, symposiums and presentations given at national conferences,” LeClair explains. The institute doesn’t offer degrees itself, but can refer anyone interest in degrees or certifications to the Albany college, which offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity, as well as a variety of certifications. NCI’s events are open to all and are generally attended by employees of government agencies and private industry, members of the military and interest individuals. Attendees are about half from the public sector and half from the private sector, LeClair says.

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