Launched a cybersecurity skills center in Tulsa to develop a pipeline of diverse local tech talent

TULSA, OK — Today, Tulsa Community College (TCC) and Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL), in partnership with edX, the global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), and Skillstorm , launch the Cyber ​​Competence Center. The new program, based in Tulsa, will develop a diverse talent pool for the in-demand and rapidly expanding career fields of cybersecurity and data analytics. no charge for Tulsa area residents.

Developed with edX’s Access Partnership initiative, the Cyber ​​Skills Center model is designed to streamline the process of skills development and career transition for underserved communities. The program offers an accelerated 24-week online training program offered by Tulsa Community College, in partnership with edX, as well as post-graduation paid learning and a comprehensive suite of services to make education and more accessible career transitions. These services, which are provided through the support of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, include child care, transportation allowances, mentoring and employment preparation assistance.

The initial program is expected to support more than 200 Tulsans over the next three years.

“Tulsa Community College has a wealth of experience and a history of evolution with constant changes in the workforce and developing individuals with the skills needed for in-demand careers,” said Dr. Leigh Goodson, President. and CEO of TCC. “Boot camp graduates will not only be able to pursue new career opportunities after the program ends, but will also be able to apply credits earned during boot camp towards educational opportunities to support further retraining and development. .”

The Cyber ​​Skills Center will also provide additional opportunities through college credit toward a 2-year associate’s degree through TCC, or a bachelor’s degree at the University of Tulsa School of Cyber ​​Studies or Oklahoma State University. Spears School of Business.

Demand for careers in these fields is at an all-time high, for example, cybersecurity is expected to see demand for nearly 3.5 million jobs by 2025.

With an average entry-level salary in this field over $63,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and hundreds of jobs available in the greater Tulsa metro area, there is tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the demand for cybersecurity talent to create a new path to the middle class.

“Our Access Partnerships help provide the infrastructure needed to bring colleges and universities, local workforce agencies and nonprofits, funding partners and employers to the table to resolve regional skills gaps and enable more working adults to succeed in the digital economy,” said Anant Agarwal, Founder of edX and Director of Open Education at 2U. “We are honored to welcome TCC as our first community college partner and look forward to working with them and TIL to help retrain and upskill Tulsa area learners as the city continues to grow its community. technology.”

Upon completion of the 24-week program, graduates will be eligible to continue building enterprise-grade cybersecurity and data analytics skills through SkillStorm’s immersive 10-week training program, which also offers potential opportunities Connect with SkillStorm’s diverse group of commercial and federal agents. clients.

“Through our work with Fortune 500 companies across the country, we have seen a rapid acceleration in the demand for workers with cybersecurity and data analytics skills in an increasingly competitive labor market,” said said Joe Mitchell, COO of SkillStorm. “We look forward to the opportunity to help people grow in the Tulsa community – and expand access to career paths both in the area and with leading employers nationwide.”

This effort builds on TIL’s strategy to create one of the most inclusive technology ecosystems in the country. By laying the foundation for the technology sectors where Tulsa has a competitive advantage: energy technology, advanced air mobility, virtual health, cyber and analytics, and building pipelines accessible to everyone, Tulsa aims to serve as a new model for how growth technology can truly serve residents from diverse backgrounds and prepare the economy for the future.

“TIL is committed to making big investments where opportunities for traditionally underserved Tulsans overlap with industries where Tulsa has a right to win,” said Nicholas Lalla, CEO of Tulsa Innovation Labs. “This initiative is a home run on both counts, and will be a game-changer in how the city leverages its unique competitive advantages to give Tulsans of all backgrounds a chance at a well-paying career in cyber. and data analysis.”

To ensure the program meets the educational needs of Tulsa’s diverse student populations, the Cyber ​​Skills Center works with nearly 30 nonprofit organizations and community partners to provide feedback on program design and recruit students for the program. One such organization is Black Tech Street, a group advancing the digital transformation of historic Black Wall Street.

“No one should be intimidated by words like cyber and analytics,” said Tyrance Billingsley, executive director of Black Tech Street. “People who excel in this area will be those who are creative, good at problem solving and good at recognizing patterns. Cybersecurity may sound scary and ‘elite’, but it’s not, and we want to demystify this world by making it clear. That’s why this partnership was a no-brainer. The Cyber ​​​​​​Skills Center will be an incredible and accessible tool to help Black Tulsans break into the world of technology and will be crucial to our mission to revive Black Wall Street through technology.

The Cyber ​​Skills Center will launch the first course in fall 2022. To get started, apply on tulsacc.edu/cybercenter.

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About Tulsa Community College

Tulsa Community College, recipient of two National Achievement Awards from the American Association of Community Colleges in 2021, is a vital link for workforce development in northeast Oklahoma. Serving more Oklahomans than any other institution of higher education in the state, TCC has four main campuses with approximately 21,000 students in credit courses each year. For five decades, TCC has provided access to an affordable college education. As one of 30 community colleges selected for the first Pathways Project, a national initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, TCC is one of the most comprehensive community colleges in the United States. For more information about TCC, visit www.tulsacc.edu.

About Tulsa Innovation Labs

Recognizing that the jobs of the future are rooted in a thriving innovation economy, the George Kaiser Family Foundation has pioneered Tulsa Innovation Laboratories to develop a citywide strategy that positions Tulsa as a technology hub and a leader in the future of work. Through a diverse coalition of public and private partners, TIL creates economic development programs that aim to make Tulsa the most inclusive tech community in the nation. Learn more about tulsainnovationlabs.com.

About edX

edX is the educational movement for restless learners and one of the leading global online learning platforms from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU). Working with the majority of the world’s top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 44 million learners a world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers. , from free courses to full degrees. And we don’t stop there – we relentlessly pursue our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more about edX.org.

About SkillStorm

Founded in 2002, SkillStorm is on a mission to accelerate careers in high-demand technology. We create Stormers, the most elite developers in the world. We hire, train and deploy Stormers of all backgrounds and experience levels in today’s in-demand technologies, including AWS, Appian, Salesforce, PEGA and ServiceNow. We are committed to hiring and training college graduates and veterans for high-growth technology careers with our Fortune 100 customers. Through these dedicated efforts, we provide our customers with an exclusive pipeline of high-quality, state-based technology talent. United, custom-trained with the skills required to support our customers’ critical technology initiatives. As a flexible technology workforce partner, we provide fully trained technical teams at all levels of experience, skills and enablement. Stormers are deployed either at our customer sites or at our US-based delivery centers.