Cybersecurity Curriculum Group Sets Meeting, Urges Industry Involvement

The California Cybersecurity Industry Workgroup is collaborating with academia, state government and industry to broaden California students’ exposure to cybersecurity as a career path.

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A group that’s drafting a model cybersecurity curriculum for California students is meeting this month to continue crafting its goals — and it’s encouraging members of the technology industry to attend and participate.

The California Cybersecurity Industry Workgroup is led by Dr. Keith Clement, a professor of criminology at California State University, Fresno. Clement chairs the California Cybersecurity Task Force (CCTF) Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee. The task force is a partnership between the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and the California Department of Technology (CDT).

“We have built out a very large multi-campus consortium including K-12 Education, California Community College, California State University, and University of California campuses,” Clement said in a recent LinkedIn update. “Looking forward to the next steps here to get people back to work in high-paying tech positions and helping reduce capability and skill gaps in high-demand, hard-to-fill cybersecurity positions.”

Clement has been leading cybersecurity curriculum efforts in the California schools, and has spoken on the initiative in recent years at tech industry conferences and other venues. He champions the concept of introducing the basics of cybersecurity education starting in kindergarten and progressing in complexity through higher education, with a statewide curriculum tailored to age-appropriate concepts.

To that end, he’s worked with state government representatives from CDT and CalOES, and he’s seeking greater industry participation and support.

The workgroup will meet virtually from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 24. Registration information is available online. The agenda is to continue collaboration among the three key stakeholder groups.

“Industry, academia and public-sector colleagues welcome!” Clement says.

In a commentary republished in Techwire in December, Clement issued a call to action to the technology industry: “Hands-on training is essential for IT cybersecurity positions and one important reason why apprenticeship on-the-job training is a key part of this successful workforce training model,” Clement wrote. “Cybersecurity pathway steps begin with recruiting and outreach for workforce participants needing to upskill, reskill, or begin to skill. We include strategies to support diverse and inclusive populations preparing for cybersecurity professions.”
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.