Accessible, Affordable: The Strategy Behind One Group’s Online Learning Efforts

(ISC)² is planning a major expansion of its online education efforts, including the addition of new staff, as a way to help cybersecurity pros keep up with the latest trends.

A membership group focused on cybersecurity is worried that workers in the industry don’t have enough training to take on an increasingly sophisticated array of online threats.

In response, (ISC)² is launching some training programs of its own, in the form of its new Professional Development Institute, a continuing-education program for cybersecurity professionals. The offering will be free to (ISC)²’s members and associates, according to an association press release.

This might sound like certification, but the association’s CEO, David Shearer, emphasizes that it goes beyond it—in part because the industry is one that’s always changing.

“The Professional Development Institute is a recognition that cybersecurity education is a lifelong journey, and that achieving professional certification, while important, is only one stop along the way,” he said in the release. “These new CPE opportunities are enriching and rewarding and provide valuable, topical insights that will help our members continue to grow and progress.”

The initiative will help lead to significant growth for the association, which will hire 18 employees to staff the new endeavor, as well as build an onsite video production studio at its Clearwater, Florida, headquarters to create content for members.

The groundwork for the effort came about after (ISC)² launched a series of professional courses last year on some hot topics, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation; DevSecOps, the philosophy of baking security into software development and IT operations; and building security-first cultures.

These efforts, as well as post-event surveys and other data, helped inform the association’s approach. The two key things (ISC)² heard: They need to be affordable, and easy to access. That led to the creation of its online-based format.

“Time constraints and cost are two burdens that we’re trying to alleviate for members and associates with PDI, while ensuring that these CPE opportunities have learning objectives that are clearly aligned with current industry challenges,” Shearer added.

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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