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JOHN DEERE'S CYBER RECRUITING PROGRAM GETS WHITE HOUSE'S ATTENTION
Source: John Deere news release

James Johnson, Chief Information Security Officer
A program that allows college freshmen and sophomores to come work part-time for John Deere as digital security professionals, was recently highlighted at a White House cyber security session.

The purpose of the event was to discuss good-paying jobs in cyber. James Johnson, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for John Deere, shared best-practices from Deere's program, which allows students to get hands-on experience working in critical security domains like AWS cloud services (Amazon Web Services), vulnerability management and secure software development.

"I spoke about how we are recruiting college students early in their college careers, and how this is yielding very strong results for our program," Johnson said. "The approach seemed to resonate with many in the audience, several attendees stopped me after the meeting to discuss our program in more detail."

Deere's program began in 2017 with students from Iowa State University's Cyber Security Engineering program. These talented students are embedded into our security teams where they get paid to build relevant cyber skills as part of their education. Since then, Deere has employed more than 70 ISU students through the program.

Other key takeaways from the session:

Johnson said the U.S. government and its agencies are actively seeking cyber talent with skills, not just degrees. As a national security priority, millions of dollars are being invested to grow the nation's cybersecurity workforce.

GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification), a leading cybersecurity training organization, recently released a new report outlining five best practices for hiring cyber professionals. These include standardizing roles, simplifying job descriptions, prioritizing aptitude, creating career paths, and using progressive training.

The session also emphasized the need to address the gender gap in cyber and highlighted the challenges faced by women in the industry, including a lack of inclusion, support, and advancement opportunities.

"Many attendees praised the benefits of our registered apprenticeship program as a way to attract and retain diverse and qualified cyber workers," Johnson said.


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