Fortinet and IBM join forces on cyber security training

The programme helps candidates kickstart a career in cyber security regardless of their background or education

Fortinet and IBM are collaborating on a new training programme that aims to bridge the cyber security skills gap.

The programme will be made up of Fortinet's Network Security Expert training and certification curriculum and IBM's 'SkillsBuild', which is a digital platform for developing professional tech skills.

The global skills gap is around 4,7 million professionals, according to the nonprofit cybersecurity professional association (ISC). In the UK, government figures posted in March stat that the country has a high proportion of businesses that lack staff with cyber security skills. It estimates that approximately 643,000 business (48%) have a basic skills gap with the most common knowledge gaps in configuring firewalls, storing or transferring personal data and detecting and removing malware.

With the Fortinet and IBM program, learners can earn badges of achievement that can be shown to potential employers as proof of competency and potentially used as entry onto other professional certification courses. The two organisations said they were focused on creating new career pathways and tapping into "untapped forests" of candidates.

"Some of the toughest challenges businesses are facing today need skills that don't require a traditional degree, such as cyber security experts, which is why there is a critical need to make sure everyone is gaining meaningful skills that align to industry needs," said Lisa Neddam, SkillsBuild program leader at IBM.

"That's why, regardless of background, education or life experience, SkillsBuild will equip learners with the professional skills and the mentorship they need to be more employable and navigate jobs in the new digital economy."

The two companies also hope their collaboration will help to pull more people into digital roles. The program will look to attract those in long-term unemployment, refugees, veterans, career changers and students.

Sandra Wheatley, SVP of threat intelligence at Fortinet, said: "As both a technology company and learning organisation, Fortinet will work with IBM to make it easier for anyone to start a career in cyber security regardless of their background, previous access to education, or life experiences."

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