About the academy
The Absa Cybersecurity Academy was founded to help address the worldwide cybersecurity skills shortage. The programme is an externally focused, corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at empowering marginalised South African youths to become certified cybersecurity specialists.
Addressing the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals is an urgent challenge and provides a unique opportunity to make a difference. This skills shortage must be filled to support the projected growth in the world’s cybersecurity sector over the next couple of years, but the talent pool is simply not keeping pace.
Young South Africans from marginalised backgrounds are hungry for opportunities to develop skills that will result in employment. They are often unable to access tertiary education due to financial circumstances and without education, their future is bleak and the cycle of poverty continues. Given the enormous need for skilled cybersecurity professionals locally and globally, we saw the opportunity to truly make a difference and change lives.
What makes this programme unique?
The secret to the success of this programme is that we do not only focus on developing technical skills, but on creating a whole being through consciousness-based education. For the programme to be successful, we develop each student holistically by balancing the technical, social and emotional skills required to ensure that they are not simply technically competent, but also adequately prepared to succeed in the world of work.
The Maharishi Institute was created in 2007 with the ambition of making tertiary education accessible to South Africa’s youth by providing non-educational support to students who want to access education through accredited educational partners. In so doing, it showcases South Africa as the leading innovator in education provision. The institute supports student learning that focuses on the student, rather than just books or information.
The students will not only get accredited cybersecurity training, but will also benefit from bridging courses and personal development as a whole, including transcendental meditation. It also includes financial support, including bursaries and work experience.
How you can make a difference
We are looking for partners to help us grow the programme, as well as give students the opportunity for on-the-job experience. If you are interested in participating, you can support in one or more of the following ways:
- Funds to support the school - including infrastructure, hardware, software, transportation, feeding schemes, etc.
- Experiential learning opportunities in your cybersecurity operation.
- Getting to know the students and perhaps earmarking them for roles in your organisation after their graduation.