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Bridgewater to Fund Scholarships for NYU Cybersecurity Degree

The hedge fund will provide scholarship money for students of underrepresented groups in the NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s new Cyber Fellows program.

  • By Christine Idzelis

Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, will fund scholarships for minority group students pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity at New York University.

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering announced Wednesday that at the end of August it will award the first round of scholarships to broaden the pool talent in its new Cyber Fellows program. Five Bridgewater scholarships will be provided to the initial cohort of students, with 25 planned for the start of the academic year beginning in 2019.

NYU Tandon’s online program was developed with the New York City Cyber Command, a government agency created last year to help the city defend itself against threats to its information infrastructure. The school is helping to reduce a shortfall of more than 200,000 cybersecurity experts in the U.S., according the statement.

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“We will welcome our partners – the first Cyber Fellows, industry advisors, and New York City – in this unique initiative to quickly scale up the number of technical experts capable of protecting our personal lives, critical infrastructure, and national security,” Nasir Memon, a professor and associate dean for online learning at NYU Tandon, said in the statement. “The technology behind online learning creates an opportunity like never before to quickly educate highly skilled computer scientists, and the support from Bridgewater Associates will open opportunities to groups that are often excluded.”

According to NYU Tandon, the existing information security workforce is 89 percent male and 68.5 percent white.

“Forty percent of the first cohort of Cyber Fellows identify as members of underrepresented groups, including women, but diversity remains a major challenge – and opportunity,” NYU Tandon said in Wednesday’s statement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had ordered the immediate creation of the New York City Cyber Command in July 2017. The group, known as NYC3, works across more than 100 agencies and offices to prevent, detect and respond to cyber threats. It will offer students in the Cyber Fellows program access to its virtual laboratory to provide “realistic simulation for hands-on training and development,” the university said. They’ll also have exclusive access to speakers, events, and mentorships provided by the program’s business partners.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group, Bridgewater, Goldman Sachs Group, and Morgan Stanley are among the school’s business partners, according to a January statement from NYU Tandon. 

The Cyber Fellows program, now structured as a part-time curriculum to accommodate working professionals, is planning to add a full-time, two-year program in 2019.

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