Grambling State Teams with IBM to Address Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Grambling State will work with IBM to establish a Cybersecurity Leadership Center, giving students and faculty access to IBM training, software multiple cloud environments, and certifications at no cost.

Grambling, La. — September 22, 2022 — During the National HBCU Week Conference convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the White House and currently being held in Washington D.C., Grambling State University (GSU) announced a collaboration with IBM to help establish a virtual GSU Cybersecurity Leadership Center.

Grambling State 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 conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored and analyzed by IBM, insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

“The Department of Computer Science and Digital Technologies at Grambling State University is proud to partner with IBM in a collaboration that will offer training in new security technologies and skills to our students and thereby produce well-trained Cybersecurity professionals,” said Dr. Prasanthi Sreekumari, interim chair of the Department of Computer Science and Cloud Technologies at Grambling State.

Through IBM’s collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM cloud, 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: 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 Grambling State University

Combining the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college, Grambling State University fosters an environment where students develop into the trailblazers, thought leaders, and innovators of the next generation. 

As one of the country’s top producers of African American graduates in Computer Information Science, we take pride in preparing graduates that are unafraid to forge new paths and challenge what’s possible. 

A historically black university founded in 1901 in Grambling, Louisiana, the institution offers 46 undergraduate and graduate academic programs on its 590-acre campus and is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life. For more information, visit