Friday June 3, 2016 0 comments
DENVER -- Hackers beware.
There’s a group of cyber security warriors about to graduate from Colorado’s newest cyber academy and ready to join the ongoing battle to vanquish hackers and protect company data.
SecureSet, founded in 2014 by CFO Bret Fund and CTO Alex Kreilein, will graduate its first class June 17.
Fund, a former assistant professor at CU-Boulder, director of the Deming Center Venture Fund and founder of Gogy, says SecureSet was created to provide companies with highly-trained cyber security professionals who can hit the ground running.
“Everybody we talk to is feeling the pain because it’s hard to find people well-trained who they can put to work right away,” he said.
“The candidates we’re producing in the first class are definitely excited about what they’re learning.”
SecureSet boasts both an academy to produce skilled graduates in 20 weeks (or 36 weeks on a part-time schedule) and an accelerator to help cyber security startups “get funded, get noticed and improve their value.”
Startups that complete the 4-month accelerator program will be eligible to receive a $50K investment and have access to ongoing mentorship and potential customers.
Companies are now being recruited for the accelerator, which is expected to begin operations in late summer or early fall, Fund said.
“There’s definitely a lot of interest,” he said. “There are a lot of products out there that companies are using but that have deficiencies.
“We’re looking for gaps to recruit companies to come in and help solve their problems. For companies just starting out, getting that first or second client is huge.”
Fund said SecureSet’s academy curriculum was developed with input from real companies with real issues.
“We talked to 30-40 companies to see what they’re looking for and designed our curriculum around that,” he said.
“What we’re trying to produce here are generalists, in that we teach them about everything so they can then start to go narrow depending on their (employment) situation.
“We want to make sure they’re ready from Day One.”
Joining Fund and Kreilein in SecureSet are John Black, director of education; Chris Goldberg, director of technology; and Brad Davis, CRO.
The SecureSet course is not inexpensive, costing $25,000 for the 20-week academy. But with salaries averaging $75-$95K to start, Fund said he believes the training “is well worth it.”
Cyber security experts are certainly in demand, with an estimated 200,000 jobs in U.S. tech cyber security – engineers and analysts—currently going unfilled. According to SecureSet, the number of cyber security job postings is growing 3.5 times faster than IT jobs.
SecureSet’s website says the academy is looking for students who have some basic computer science knowledge and who want to make a difference.
“We’re looking for someone who wants more than just a job,” the site says, with students having a personal goal of wanting to “do good” in the cyber space by protecting their employers’ data from bad actors.
SecureSet offers job placement assistance and promises “at least one offer of employment in the information security industry” upon graduation.
“Almost all of our grads have had at least one offer already,” Fund said, noting that graduation is still two weeks away.
Fund says SecureSet is passionate about helping to transform the cyber security industry.
“We really wanted to influence the industry, and the best way to do it is to train the next generation of professionals,” he said.
“Our mission is to help influence the industry to make it stronger and make it better. What we would love is for businesses to not have to think about cyber security, but we’re not there yet.”