The cybersecurity workforce in Massachusetts suffers from a lack of diversity. According to the Aspen Institute, it is estimated that only 4% of cybersecurity workers self-identify as Hispanic, 9% as Black, and 24% as women. Due to its widely recognized power for enhancing participation in a career field, mentorship can help develop a more inclusive cyber workforce by preparing diverse talent, especially college students, to pursue careers in cybersecurity.
The MassCyberCenter created the Cybersecurity Mentorship Program to provide opportunities for diverse Massachusetts undergraduate college students to learn about careers in cybersecurity and develop their professional networks through direct engagement with industry professionals. The goal of the Cybersecurity Mentorship Program is to encourage diverse undergraduate college students to continue to pursue a career in cybersecurity and promote the diversity of the cybersecurity workforce in Massachusetts.
There are three main components to the Program:
- Direct Mentorship – Students and their mentor, a cyber industry professional, will be matched together to have a one-on-one, ongoing dialogue on careers in cybersecurity. Students will learn directly from their mentor about the different types of cybersecurity jobs and how to leverage their studies into a career in cybersecurity through phone calls, video chats, and in-person meetings (if permitted by the public health guidelines);
- Student Project – Students and their mentors will work together on a cybersecurity project. The MassCyberCenter will predefine and scope the projects, which will include technical and non-technical options. Students will present their projects during a showcase event in May 2024; and
- Events – Students will participate virtually in cybersecurity career panels. Students and mentors will also have the opportunity to virtually attend the 2024 Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum. The Forum is an invitation-only event convened by the Commonwealth to highlight partnerships across the cybersecurity ecosystem and advance Massachusetts’ global leadership in cybersecurity.
As part of the direct mentorship or working on the project, students and mentors are expected to meet one hour every two weeks at a minimum.
This map contains the locations of the Colleges & Universities whose students have participated in the Cybersecurity Mentorship Program.
215 Students and 39 Schools Represented
Below are the world-class organizations whose employees have dedicated their time and insights to become mentors for our Massachusetts cybersecurity students.
91 Mentors from 55 Companies
- Diverse students, including those who are Black, Latinx, and women, with a passion for cybersecurity are encouraged to apply.
- Must be an undergraduate enrolled in a Massachusetts college or university during the spring 2024 academic year. Both Massachusetts residents and non-residents who attend a Massachusetts college or university are eligible to apply. (Note: Graduate students are not eligible to participate at this time.)
- Must have academic or professional experience related to cybersecurity and an interest in exploring a career in the cybersecurity field.
- Must be able to meet with their mentor for a minimum of one hour every two weeks as part of the direct mentorship or student project components of the program.
- Cyber professionals with a commitment to promoting diversity in the cybersecurity workforce are encouraged to apply to be a mentor.
- Must be an employee of a Massachusetts cybersecurity company or employed as a cybersecurity professional in a Massachusetts-based company.
- The mentor’s company must endorse their participation in the Program by signing a Mentor Participation Agreement.
- Must be able to meet with their student mentee(s) for a minimum of one hour every two weeks as part of the direct mentorship or student project components of the Program.
Spring 2024 Applications
The application period for student and mentor applications for the Spring 2024 cohort closed on February 19th.
In the News
The Cybersecurity Mentorship Program featured in the news!
- The program was featured in a segment on WBUR's 'Morning Edition' on September 9th;
- MassCyberCenter director Stephanie Helm joined WBZ Radio’s Nichole Davis to discuss launch of the program;
- ‘MassCyberCenter seeks more diversity in its ranks” - State House News Service highlighted the program, which ran in the MetroWest Daily News and the Daily Hampshire Gazette;
- The Daily Item in Lynn profiled North Shore Community College student Kristina Bowen;
- “UMass Dartmouth student honored at 2020 Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum”;
- Assumption College: " Students Selected for State Cybersecurity Mentorship Program";
- “Programming a Future” – Bridgewater State University talks with student Jahmel Wint;
- UMass Amherst: “International CICS Student Lands Commonwealth Cybersecurity Mentorship”; and
- Bay Path University: “Students Selected for Prestigious Cybersecurity Mentorship Program”.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email MassCyberCenter@masstech.org.