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UWF CyberSkills2Work Program

Program Overview

The UWF CyberSkills2Work Program, offered by the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity, is an intensive cybersecurity training program designed to grow and diversify the cybersecurity workforce. The program provides FREE cybersecurity training and career development for eligible transitioning military, transitioning first responders, and veterans to prepare and transition them into rewarding cybersecurity jobs in our nation’s Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including financial services, defense industrial base, and energy sectors.

Delivery Format: Online (100% Asynchronous)


 

Program Launch Timeline:

2021: Entry-level cybersecurity training to prepare participants for entry-level cybersecurity positions from March 15 - July 31, 2021.

2022: Entry-level program similar to 2021 and an advanced program to prepare participants for more advanced cybersecurity roles. 

Each program will be offered for a cohort of 30 eligible participants. All costs for eligible and accepted participants will be covered by the NSA grant. 

The UWF CyberSkills2Work Program is part of the National CAE Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program led by UWF. Visit the program page to learn more.


 Program Benefits

  • Five-month cybersecurity training and career development program at no cost to eligible participants
  • Program and courses are 100% asynchronous online, making learning accessible and convenient. Some courses may include optional synchronous online, e.g., Q&A sessions, which will be recorded and available for participants to view later. A holistic approach to ensure student success and program completion, including:
    -Support from UWF faculty and staff
    -Access to resources and job fair
     
  • Courses prepare students for cybersecurity careers with foundational knowledge and hands-on skills.
  • Students will receive career development support and have access to connect with job opportunities via the Employers Network.
  • Provides certifications, digital badges, and credentials to document skills and competencies.

 Program Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for program consideration, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be a transitioning military personnel, transitioning first responder, or veteran
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Some IT or cybersecurity experience

Once selected, participants will also need to meet any other criteria for employment, including the ability to obtain a security clearance, if required.

Preferred Requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in IT or STEM area
  • At least two years of IT or cybersecurity experience
  • Security clearance (active or past)

 Program Participation Requirements

All selected applicants must agree and comply with the following:

  • Strong interest in cybersecurity field and career.
  • Commit to participate in the program from March 15 - July 31, 2021 (courses will not run for the entire duration but participants should be available during that time frame).
  • Must have your own computer with camera and mic and high-speed Internet connection.
  • Participate in all program courses, sessions, and meetings, including the certification courses, exam preparation, career development sessions, and career fair. The program and courses will be offered 100% asynchronously online.
  • Dedicate time towards self-study and complete all program and course requirements, including assigned readings, labs, assessments and surveys each week.
  • Take any industry-required certification exams within two weeks of each certification course completion and report exam results to the program coordinator.

 Application Requirements

To be considered for the program, applicants MUST complete the application form linked below and submit ALL required documents via email by the application deadline. The application form also includes a brief survey regarding any IT and cybersecurity skills. The required documents should be submitted in PDF format as attachments to a single email to Monica Respondek at mrespondek@uwf.edu.

  • Please use the following naming convention for the email subject: LastName FirstName Application (e.g., Smith Joe Application).
  • For each of the required documents, please name the file as FirstName-Last-Name-DocumentType.pdf (e.g., Joe-Smith-Resume.pdf).

Required Documents

  • A brief up-to-date resume
  • A copy of unofficial transcripts for your most advanced degree completed (for high school, associate's, or bachelor's degree)
  • A 2-page letter of intent that demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to the program and a cybersecurity career, and includes the following components:
    • Commitment to successfully completing the program and pursuing a career in cybersecurity
    • Experiences and accomplishments that helped prepare you for this program and a cybersecurity career, including military or first responder experience, IT or cybersecurity education or training, industry certifications, or awards
    • How this program will help you accomplish your personal and/or professional career aspirations.
    • What specific cybersecurity work role(s) and critical infrastructure sectors or organizations you are interested in working for upon program completion, and why. For more detailed information on specific sectors mentioned in these questions, please visit https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors.
    • Your short-term (1-4 years) and long-term (5+ years) career goals upon successful program completion.
  • At least two letters of professional recommendation

If initially selected for the program, you will be required to submit additional documentation to verify your citizenship or permanent residency, military and/or first responder service. You will receive an email requesting this documentation if you are selected. You may want to start gathering this information in the interest of time.

  • For Transitioning First Responders: Submit (a) a signed verification letter of first responder’s service on the organization’s letterhead from the first responder’s job supervisor or Human Resources representative, and includes the dates of your service, the position you held while in service, the duties you performed, and the phone number where we can reach the verifying personnel, or (b) the completed First Responder Service Verification Form that we will send you. **At least one verification of service must be completed from the first responder job supervisor or Human Resources representative and who can be available by phone.
  • For Transitioning Military Personnel: Submit a copy of your Electronic Military Service Record, for example:
    • ERB (Army – Enlisted Record Brief) reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • CDB (Air Force – Career Data Brief)
    • BIR (Marine Corps – Basic Individual Record), reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • ESR (Navy – Electronic Service Record) or NSIPS (Navy Standard Integrated Personnel Systems), reflecting full/current active duty service history
    • El-PDR or USCG Military Record  or DD-214 (National Coast Guard - Electronic Personnel Data Record)
    • ***Please redact your social security information for any of these documents before you submit your documents***
  • For Veterans: Submit a copy of your DD-214/DD 215 or Record of Separation. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes validating military service easy. Just log in to eBenefits and follow these steps:
    • Access your Documents and Records
    • Click on VA Letters
    • Click on the Service Verification link
    • Download and save the file as PDF
    • ***Please make sure to redact any of your Social Security information from the document before you submit the PDF document.***

Application and Deadline

Important: Please review all program eligibility and application requirements, and compile all required documentation before applying.

Application Deadline: The application deadline has passed. Information about the selection of the next cohort will be available in September.


Watch the Virtual Information Session!

Interested to learn more about the UWF CyberSkills2Work Program? View the recording of the information session held on February 2 on our YouTube Channel.


More Information or Questions? Please Contact:

Mónica Respondek

Program Coordinator, Center for Cybersecurity

Phone: (850) 857-6077

E-mail: mrespondek@uwf.edu

 

UWF CyberSkills2Work Program Team

Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, Associate Vice President, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Tirthankar Ghosh, Associate Director and Professor, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Guillermo Francia, III, Faculty Scholar, Center for Cybersecurity

Dr. Gregory Hall, Research Scientist, Center for Cybersecurity

Guy Garrett, Assistant Director, Center for Cybersecurity


Resources


This program is funded by the National Security Agency under the NCAE-C-003-2020 - NCAE-C Cyber Curriculum and Research 2020 Program.

Logos of the NSA and UWF Center for Cybersecurity