In an era of growing cybersecurity breaches, it has become critical for organizations to think and act proactively to address future cyber challenges, especially talent acquisition and cyber policy issues. Chandria Poole, deputy program manager at Northrop Grumman and BEYA Most Promising Engineer Award recipient, knows just how organizations can prepare for such obstacles.
“Organizations should have a big focus on ‘when,’ not ‘if,’ when preparing their cyber workforce for the challenges ahead, “ Poole says.
The secret starts at the core of the business: its workforce. To stay in front of the curve, organizations need to recruit and retain diverse talent in STEM fields, Chandria says. And, the best way to do that: start young.
Partnering with academia to inspire young students about rewarding STEM opportunities is a forward-thinking talent acquisition approach for organizations worldwide. One great example is the Cyber Patriot Program, which was presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and created by the Air Force Association.
Now in its tenth year, CyberPatriot features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school-aged youth as well as cyber camps and an elementary school education initiative.
“A lot of what we’ve being doing (at Northrop Grumman) is focusing on STEM and developing the next generation of our workforce to prepare us to be more proactive than reactive,” says Chandria who mentors CyberPatriot competitors.
In addition to CyberPatriot, our Teachers and Engineers for Academic Achievement (TEAACH) program is a good example of ways Northrop Grumman empowers educators, specifically.
“We’re obligated to go into schools to make sure we’re implementing innovative initiatives and training programs for the next generation of our workforce,” Chandria says.
The TEAACH program provides middle school STEM educators and counselors with not only classroom concepts, but also exciting activities and exposure to STEM demonstrations, experiments and classroom applications.
Chandria believes her career path has allowed her to empower and impact – instantly.
“Every day, you see the positive results of the work that you do,” Chandria says. “It’s not something you have to wait years to see – not even days to see. Every day, when you complete projects and collaborative efforts, you can see the positive affect you have on cybersecurity.”
See Chandria's full interview with CyberScoop