Yu Cai and MTU CyberCorps Team awarded $992,476 for Cybersecurity Scholarships

Dr. Yu Cai with a Cybersecurity student, 2021

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing job field due to its increasing necessity in the modern era. As online infrastructure continues to develop, the need for cybersecurity professionals has dramatically grown – so fast that the pool of qualified individuals is has been outran by the demand. The increased reliance on cyberspace has exposed vulnerabilities that are exploited in cyberattacks, which present a challenge for everyone from the government to individuals and their personal data.

The National Science Foundation’s “CyberCorps Scholarships for Service” initiative is designed to fund new or established cybersecurity scholarship programs to address the workforce concerns in the field. By increasing the accessibility of quality cybersecurity education, a diverse and capable crop of cybersecurity professionals will become crucial in filling these openings and bolster the capacity to prevent and respond to threats.

Yu Cai, a champion of computing education, has teamed up again with fellow ICC members to secure scholarship resources for cybersecurity at Michigan Tech. His league of co-PI’s include Jean Mayo, Todd Arney, Bo Chen, and Chee-Wooi Ten. This team has secured two rounds of previous funding under the Cybercorps program. Including the recent funding which added $992,476 to this scholarship pool, MTU has now received $2.78 million under the initiative for cybersecurity scholarships.

The funding will continue until (estimated) 2026. This will likely include another round, pushing the total to $3.38 million – the originally intended amount that is gradually distributed to selected recipients following periodical evaluation.

The funds will be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students alike at Michigan Tech, supporting students the whole way as they enter the cybersecurity workforce. The program supports the United States government’s goal to cultivate a superior cybersecurity workforce, which includes diversifying/increasing cybersecurity professionals, retaining cybersecurity graduates in the field, and fostering connections between the government and institutions of higher education with demonstrated cybersecurity excellence.