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CUNY preps students to meet evolving biz needs like cybersecurity


Top news headlines are today’s help-wanted ads, as front-page issues spawn new needs for old skills and new ways to do old jobs.


Career trends have emerged because of new and growing problems that are as diverse as cybersecurity and the opioid crisis, said Angie Kamath, a dean for continuing education and workforce development at the City University of New York.


Kamath recently attended a meeting that focused on sprawling cybersecurity issues raised by hackers, from Russians infiltrating U.S. elections to identity thieves raiding Equifax.


“Cybersecurity is not just about the technical kind of IT that is part technology and part cybersecurity, but is also about nontechnical roles that are around risk management and understanding vulnerabilities in the system,” Kamath said.

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“There are a lot of skill areas that are new and emerging” to address these issues, Kamath said, and CUNY is developing programs to recruit, train and place New Yorkers in jobs based on “analyzing cybersecurity and assessing threats.”


This will open career opportunities across many sectors in the regional and national economies, she said, because “understanding risk and data is very much something that touches every industry.”


New York City’s dynamic and diverse economy demands a robust workforce, and CUNY has endeavored to position itself as a major piece of the city’s job development network.


Parsing career trends is one way the university determines what the workplace will demand. Responding to business needs is an even larger part of the effort.

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“We listen to industry, craft a new curriculum, and help people get recruited and trained successfully to be able to then get a job,” Kamath said.


“I think there are definitely new trends as industries evolve and mature, or grow,” she said. “We see a lot more interest in things like data analytics.


“ … How do you scale the competency to manage large reams of data to be able to analyze it, to be able to write compliance reports, or to analyze new markets, or understand trends?” added Kamath.


“There are new competencies and skills that are very much affecting all industries,” she said, and CUNY has developed programs “to train students to work with data, to analyze data” to fill those needs.

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CUNY TechWorks is a federally funded program, begun this year, that offers skill-based training in web design, software development and IT system administration. CUNY also offers a database-management training program in partnership with Infor, a New York-based business software company.


CUNY responded to community health needs to create a program this year focused on the opioid abuse crisis, training an initial 40 “certified recovery peer advocates” to work with recovering abusers, Kamath said.


“The way that we very often come up with new programs is really talking to industry and understanding what industry needs, and designing new programs that meet those needs,” she said.


“In this case, we worked very closely with community health clinics, with hospitals, as well as with local doctors’ and clinicians’ offices. …They came up with this idea to develop this brand-new curriculum.”

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CUNY focuses its workforce development efforts in 10 major sectors: technology, health care, finance/insurance, hospitality, nonprofits, civic/government, energy/industrial, business operations (sales and marketing), life sciences and arts/cultural.


Even long-established industries see the need to change how they function, Kamath said.


“As areas evolve and time goes on, I think the skill sets might be similar, but the applications have evolved to be more specific” to newer, current needs, she said.

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workforce development
cybersecurity
CUNY

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