A new partnership between Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College seeks to create more pathways for Iowa students to train as cyber security professionals. 

Ben Allen, interim president of ISU, and DMACC President Rob Denson today signed a memorandum of understanding at DMACC’s main campus in Ankeny to create the Iowa Cyber Hub, a regional facility where companies can work with the institutions on cyber security issues, with the goal of creating a larger cyber-security workforce. 

DMACC also announced it will create an associate in applied science degree in cyber security, and modify an existing articulation pathway from DMACC to ISU. The community college is also in the process of developing a professional certificate in cyber security designed to prepare individuals with four-year degrees to enter into ISU’s graduate-level cyber security program. 

“The new DMACC programs in cyber security that will transfer to ISU will provide students several pathways to a degree, and will meet the needs of both full-time and part-time working students,” said Kim Linduska, DMACC’s executive vice president of academic affairs. “It’s a great opportunity for both institutions to continue our strong partnership to meet the needs of all of our students.” 

Both DMACC and ISU will also develop programs for middle schools and high schools to get more students interested in cyber security. 

As incidents of cyber crime continue to increase, it’s estimated that more than 300,000 cyber security positions went unfilled nationally last year. According to Cybersecurity Business Report, cyber crime costs are projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021.

“The Iowa Cyber Hub will create a critical mass of cyber security education and training in central Iowa,” said Doug Jacobson, an ISU professor of electrical and computer engineering and a leader of the initiative. “Working together, we will serve the needs of students, faculty and employers, while also inspiring the next generation of 'cyber sleuths’ in Iowa’s middle and high schools.”

The Iowa Cyber Hub is envisioned to include space for companies to rent at ISU and DMACC for onsite support designed for their specific business. Other planned components of the program include: 
• Company direct-hire internships and apprenticeships.
• Project-based intern experiences.
• Cyber security short courses for companies to enhance the skills of their existing workforce.
• Faculty directed projects.
• Facilitated interaction between ISU and DMACC faculty and students.