PwC India and NIIT University (NU) have entered into a strategic partnership towards creating a trained talent pool of Cyber Security professionals in India. To this end,academic experts from NU and senior professionals from PwC India have co-created a two-year work-integrated specialized Master’s Programme in Cyber Security.
The Master’s Programme in Cyber Security is amongst the first programmes that blend academic and professional education, with the industry player PwC India being an equal partner in developing and delivering the programme. The key driver in this programme is industry-led research in the Cyber Security space.
Cyber Security market currently at $1 billion, is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025. The demand for skilled professionals in the space is very high. This demand is coming from domestic companies spending in the country; multinational companies investing in India; increasing government activity in the cyber and cyber security space; and information technology firms bringing in work from clients.
The apex body for the IT industry NASSCOM launched Cyber Security Task Force earlier this year to build India as a global hub for providing Cyber Security solutions, prepare the Cyber Security R&D plan and develop a skilled workforce of Cyber Security experts. The task force aims to build the Cyber Security industry in India from the 1% market share to 10% by 2025; create a trained base of 1 million certified and skilled Cyber Security professionals and build 1000+ startups in Cyber Security from India.
Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman NIIT Group and Founder NU, said, “Technology has changed the way businessesare run and has brought along with it unique challenges and threats. In today’s digitized environment securing our cyberspace has become a priority for businesses and citizens across the world. This calls for a team of trained professionals who are equipped to combat the challenges that are posed by hackers every day. Our partnership with PwC India is a step in that direction.”
Deepak Kapoor,Chairman, PwC India said, “Cyber Security is a major focus area and the growth driver for PwC India. We currently have around 300 people in this practice and will need to increase it tenfold to about 3,000 people over the next 4-5 years.”
“With this programme with NU, PwC India is collaborating with academia to bring industry-ready talent into the market, readily employable with required customized skills set.” Mr. Kapoor added.
First year of the Master’s Programme in Cyber Security will be held at the Neemrana Campus of NU, followed by an internship at PwC India under the supervision of NU faculty. The programme will emphasis on Security Analytics, Threat Intelligence, Industrial Control System and Vulnerability Analysis and also draw on practitioner-experts from PwC India to ensure the right blend of academic concepts and industry application. PwC has worked with NU to devise the curriculum for the programme. In addition, PwC India and NU will co-create specialised laboratories at the University, with advanced hardware and software required for the programme.
Dr Rajendra Pandey, President, NU, said “The Master’s Programme in Cyber Security in partnership with PwC India is yet another initiative by NU to offer industry-aligned, research focused programme that will enable our students to explore exciting career opportunities in today’s knowledge economy.”
PwC India will jointly select the candidates along with NU and also provide expert faculty from within the firm and other industry practitioners for delivery of the programme. It will help NU select the right persons from industry, with relevant work experience, to join the programme. PwC and NU will jointly pick some of the bright students from other Universities as well.
PwC will invest in training and development of the candidates who will be employed with PwC India after the programme. In the second year of the programme, PwC India will provide six months’ on-site training to the candidates at its offices, where they will get the first-hand experience of real-life work situation. Also, the firm will jointly select the research topics with NU for the industry research for the last six months of the programme. PwC India will pay the students a scholarship throughout the two years of the programme towards maintenance costs.
Deepankar Sanwalka, Leader–Advisory, PwC India said, “India is at the cusp of a big shift towards Cyber Security, both in terms of the risks, as well as in terms of the opportunities for the country. Cyber space changes the dynamics due to the ability of perpetrators to operate from any part of the world. Navigating the complexity and vastness of cyber risks requires building a trained base of 1 million certified and skilled Cyber Security professionals. PwC has been working and will continue to work for the betterment of the Cyber Security posture in the country along with government departments and corporates through its innovative methods and solutions. This tie-up is a step in that direction.”