BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Southern University will soon play a role in cybersecurity.

IBM is partnering with Southern University and five other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in creating cybersecurity centers aimed at training underrepresented communities.

“We have an overarching commitment to skill 30 million people by 2030,” stated IBM VP President of Global Education and Workforce Development Lydia Logan.

IBM is working with HBCUs like Southern University to fulfill that commitment.

“They’ll have access to things like our cybersecurity range, the courses that we offer our software, and access to our experts,” she explained.

As technology advances, the number of jobs in the industry also started to grow. Logan said they targeted HBCUs since only 27 percent of graduates are science, technology, engineering, and math majors.

“We know particularly that solving big challenges requires diversity of thought and making sure that we have diverse opinions at the table when these challenges arise makes all the difference in coming up with the best solutions,” she said.

Dr. Derrick Warren, associate dean at Southern University College of Business, said he’s now able to teach boot camps and grow the options the underrepresented communities have.

“Provides courseware, software and technology assets in a number of specialized technology areas…. artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and cybersecurity,” he said. “There’s a severe and I do mean severe job shortage.”

Through the programs, they also train students on how to protect data as the number of cyber attacks grows.

“Cybersecurity attacks that have really harmed banks, financial institutions. Almost every industry is touched by these bad actors,” said Warren.

“Companies must have cybersecurity professionals working there. So these are now becoming jobs that are required across industry,” added Logan.

So far, Southern has over 100 students in their May boot camp where students are able to gain industry-based certification.

“I have several students that have reached out to me saying, ‘Hey, the stack of credentials have helped me get a job or help me get a promotion,'” Warren said. “Being one of the first cybersecurity centers that IBM announces helps to set us apart.”

IBM expects to skill 30 million people in the next 10 years.