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NSU Teams with IBM

Norfolk State University Teams with IBM to Address
Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Norfolk State University will work with IBM to establish a Cybersecurity Leadership Center, giving students and faculty access to IBM training, software and certifications at no cost.
Norfolk, Virginia  – (September 21, 2022) – During the National HBCU Week Conference convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House, Norfolk State University announced a collaboration with IBM to help establish a virtual Norfolk State University Cybersecurity Leadership Center.

Norfolk State University is one of 20 schools working with IBM to create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.

With 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., the need for expertise is critical: According to a recent IBM Security study*, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

“Norfolk State University has been a leader in cybersecurity education for many years. We have been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency as well as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence,” said Norfolk State University President Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D.

“This new partnership with IBM ensures that our students and our graduates are first-day ready for positions they seek and immediately add value to their employers,” she added.
Through IBM’s collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM Cloud-hosted software, and professional development resources, all at no cost to them. This includes access to:

  • Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each participating HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal – an IBM client offering – including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.
  • Immersive learning experience: Faculty and students of participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs’ faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.
  • Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud
  • Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts, and discover IBM internships and job openings

“Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we’re co-creating with Historically Black College and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education; it also builds on our pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years.”

About Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University is a comprehensive urban public institution that is committed to transforming students’ lives through exemplary teaching, research, and service. Offering a supportive academic and culturally diverse environment for all, the University empowers its students to turn their aspirations into reality and achieve their full potential as well rounded, resourceful citizens and leaders for the 21st century. NSU plays a vital economic and social role in the City of Norfolk, the Hampton Roads region, and across Virginia.

Learn more about Norfolk State's Cybersecurity program at

* Conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored and analyzed by IBM