Students at the Women in Cybersecurity event met with Wisconsin’s chief information officer, chief information security officer, and former DOD CIO. “The officers encouraged them. And our students were also interviewed by news reporters. It was an amazing experience for them,” Yuan said.
Ally Andersen, a CNIT major from Eau Claire, said, “I met a lot of amazing women who showed me I’m not alone in my male-dominated field. And that there truly is a strong community of women who support and encourage each other to grow and connect.”
Mariana Pena, a CNIT major from Waukesha, said they learned that since women make up only 24% of the cybersecurity workforce, “they may not feel as comfortable to take opportunities or put themselves out there unless they are 100% qualified.
“The best advice I learned was that you don't have to be totally confident in whatever it is that you want to pursue but focus on being courageous. Be able to open yourself up to opportunities that you may not necessarily have all the required experience for because in the end, that's how you build confidence,” Pena added.
Cyber Defense Scholarship helps prepare students for Wisconsin’s workforce
In 2017, UW-Stout was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
UW-Stout is the first four-year university in the state to receive this prestigious designation. The award was based on proven efforts to reduce threats to national infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and providing the nation with qualified cybersecurity professionals.