Target is kicking off a three-year collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering, propelled by a $250,000 Target donation. The goal is to build course curriculum and offer hands-on information security experiences, student scholarships, fellowships and grants, and opportunities for students to network with the retailer’s cyber security experts.
A year-long capstone course will give students hands-on tech experience prior to graduation. The instructor and students will work directly with Target executives to solve a real-world industry problem and develop innovative possible solutions.
The donation directly supports students, including funding to award seven undergraduate student scholarships at $5,000 each that started with the Fall 2019 semester. It will also send computer science-related student groups to conferences, workshops, hackathons and other events where they can continue building expertise.
“Over the next 10 years, it’s predicted that half of all cyber security positions in the U.S. will be vacant,” said Rich Agostino, chief information security officer at Target. “As one of the largest employers in the Twin Cities, we know we have a responsibility to help build the cyber security talent pipeline. Our team has been working closely with the University of Minnesota on a unique collaboration that not only helps educate the next generation of cyber security leaders, but also provides training and leadership opportunities to Target’s team.”