June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
This paper describes a project led by the University of South Carolina (USC) to address the cybersecurity workforce gap. The project creates curricular material based on virtual laboratories (vLabs). As vLabs are developed, they are adopted and tested at USC and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), the main partnering institution in this project. These vLabs consist of virtual equipment (e.g., virtual network, virtual router, virtual firewall) emulating complete systems on-demand running in NETLAB. NETLAB is a widely used platform for training purposes across the country, with more than 1,000 institutions currently using it. USC and NNMC have also established an alliance with industry organizations and with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to establish internship opportunities. Currently, student interns are not only exercising technical skills but also developing soft skills such as team work and time management. Finally, in partnership with manufacturer leaders, the project permits students to earn industry certificates. These certificates are aligned with the guidelines for “Information Technology Curricula 2017 for IT programs” by the IEEE/ACM. Specifically, the guidelines indicate that IT should emphasize “learning IT core concepts combined with authentic practice” and “use of professional tools and platforms.” Hands-on vLabs activities show that providing access to computing technologies (e.g., professional next-generation firewalls, routers) used in the work environment eases the transition of students from academia to the workplace.
Crichigno, J., & Ahmed, S., & Gerdes, J. H., & Brookshire, R. G. (2019, June), Building a Cybersecurity Pipeline through Experiential Virtual Labs and Workforce Alliances Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32481
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