Microsoft, Mastercard, Workday help create Cybersecurity Talent Initiative

Microsoft, Mastercard and Workday announced on Tuesday the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative – of which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and 10 other federal agencies are participants.


It’s widely known that healthcare organizations have been grappling with the cybersecurity talent shortage. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ann Johnson said last month at the RSA 2019 Conference that the dearth will only get worse, resulting in as many as 3 million infosec jobs being open.

What’s more, UC Berkeley Psychology Professor Chrstina Maslach and Josh Corman, chief security officer at PTC, agreed that burnout is a very real problem among cybersecurity professionals as society grows more reliant on the field for public safety issues.


Describing itself as a public-private coalition, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative will choose from student applicants working toward undergraduate or graduate degrees in areas related to cybersecurity, notably computer science, engineering, information systems and mathematics, the organization said.

Participants will be guaranteed a two-year placement at a federal agency. Before the conclusion of their federal service, participants will then be eligible for full-time positions with the program’s private sector partners Microsoft, Mastercard and Workday, which will also “designate certain positions specifically for program participants,” according to the group’s website. If hired, they will receive up to $75,000 in student loans.

The application process closes October 18, 2019, and the job placements will start in the summer of 2020.


In addition to HHS, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative includes Veterans Affairs, Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Election Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Naval Intelligence and the Small Business Administration.