Okta's Million-Dollar Move: Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Year Up
Okta's Million-Dollar Move: Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Year Up

Okta's Million-Dollar Move: Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Year Up

In a world increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure, the demand for cybersecurity experts is skyrocketing. However, the skills gap in this sector remains a significant challenge. Okta, a leader in identity and cloud management, is stepping up to address this issue by investing $1.6 million in organizations focused on career training and advancement for underrepresented communities.

A Multi-Million Dollar Investment

Okta's investment aims to support organizations like ColorStack, WiCys (Women in Cybersecurity), and most notably, Year Up—a nonprofit dedicated to providing tuition-free job training. This initiative is designed to close the opportunity divide by equipping young adults with the necessary skills and experiences for a successful career.

Year Up's Mission

Founded by Gerald Chertavian, Year Up's primary goal is to ensure that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support required to excel in their careers and higher education. The organization offers training pathways in in-demand subjects like cybersecurity, data analytics, and project management. Remarkably, 4 out of 5 Year Up graduates find employment or enroll in college within four months of completing the program, boasting average starting salaries of $52,000.

Cybersecurity: A Lucrative Career Path

For those who opt for Year Up's cybersecurity track, the average starting salary jumps to $57,000. According to Todd McKinnon, Okta’s co-founder and CEO, entry-level cybersecurity roles offer competitive pay, growth opportunities, and job security, making it an attractive career path.

Educational Grants and Certifications

In addition to financial support, Okta plans to provide 5,000 educational grants for individuals seeking a career transition into cybersecurity. These grants will target those recently displaced from tech jobs, including veterans and their spouses, and offer access to Okta’s learning platform and certification programs.

The Future of Tech Employment

The tech industry is gradually shifting towards a skills-first approach, moving away from traditional educational qualifications. McKinnon emphasizes the importance of qualities like potential, focus, and work ethic over pedigree and direct experience.


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