Addressing the Skills and Workforce Gaps in Security Engineering

Research Team Leadership

  • PI: Danda Rawat, Howard University

Project Overview

Internet-connected, embedded systems increasingly control devices found in critical infrastructure ranging from home automation (thermostats, security systems, baby monitors, refrigerators), smart and connected communities (vehicles, civil infrastructure, private buildings), smart power grids, industrial plants, and more. The proliferation of these systems give rise to the notion of an Internet of Things (IoT): about 3 to 6 billion “things” are connected to the Internet, and by 2020 an estimated 20 to 50 billion connected smart devices will exist in the IoT.

This rapid growth must be met by increases in computer science and engineering professionals who are motivated and capable of designing, implementing, and maintaining applications that span the IoT application space. The rise of the IoT drives an increased need for competent engineers across the computer system stack, from high-level graphical user interface design for mobile apps to low-level embedded system control engineering with stringent real-time constraints.

This project proposes to broadly address the skills and workforce gaps, but it is specifically built to expose underrepresented minority students to a high-demand field of study. The project's goals are two-fold:

  1. Attract more students to relevant programs of study with a special emphasis on attracting minority students. 
  2. Increase the competence of students graduating with degrees in these areas.

The program will focus on increasing enrollment and graduation rates for computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering degree programs at Howard University. This project represents a five-year collaborative commitment between Howard University and CIRI.

Related Resources

New program to address the cybersecurity skills, workforce gap