NJ Cybersecurity Virtual Conference: Connect, Collaborate, Careers at Seton Hall University Raises Awareness and Engages New Jersey College Students and Industry Professionals During Cybersecurity Awareness Month

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – For every college student who dreams of a career in cybersecurity, Seton Hall University is presenting the state’s first of a kind virtual forum to engage the higher education community with cybersecurity business leaders. The inaugural NJ Cybersecurity Virtual Conference: Connect, Collaborate, Careers is scheduled for October 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. 

Celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the event is sponsored by Seton Hall University and PSEG, in partnership with UPITCHNJ, a statewide collegiate entrepreneurship organization; New Jersey Economic Development Authority; and Edge, the region’s nonprofit technology partner.

This conference is designed to raise awareness of cybersecurity career opportunities for higher education students and new college graduates, conveying the appeal of cybersecurity careers among students and business leaders of university cybersecurity programs and potential candidates for these positions. Open to New Jersey’s higher education communities and cybersecurity industries, the conference is free, but registration is required.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported 467,361 complaints in 2019 and more than $3.5 billion in losses to individual and business victims. Phishing and similar ploys, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion were among the most frequently reported complaints. In the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has increasingly conducted business, shopping, education, and other communications virtually. Cybersecurity professionals are on the front lines to keep everything from bank accounts to top military secrets safe.

“We are witnessing an explosion of highly-paid jobs and new career paths in cybersecurity. Average salaries begin at more than $72,000 and can exceed $200,000 in this often overlooked industry,” said Susan Scherreik, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall. “There are not enough candidates to fill this growing field with jobs available to students in a wide range of academic disciplines. In New Jersey alone there are more than 12,000 cybersecurity positions available and more than 500,000 open nationwide.”

Event organizer and workshop moderator Professor Manfred Minimair, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, directs Seton Hall’s academic cybersecurity efforts and encourages students and recent graduates to attend.

“This field is interdisciplinary and comprehensive. Many industries are looking for young talent to get into cybersecurity and we’ll provide valuable networking opportunities to connect them with interested students. Students will learn about different approaches into cybersecurity including academic research opportunities, internships, educational initiatives and many career choices including computer science and information systems, business and management, diplomacy, finance, government, human psychology, law and modern languages. We’ll also be discussing diversity inclusion and equity, and the importance of attracting more women and minorities into this career path,” said Minimair.

Conference highlights include keynote addresses by Sam Curry, Chief Security Officer for Cybereason and Mike Geraghty, NJ Chief Information Security Officer and Director of the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC).

Curry, a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute, has more than 25 patents for his time as a security architect. He led two successful startups and served on the board of the Cybersecurity Coalition of SSH Communications and of Sequitur Labs (in the IoT security space) in addition to a number of advisorships across the security spectrum.

Defending against cyberattacks at the helm of the NJCCIC, the first in the nation state-level information sharing and analysis organization, Geraghty’s mission is to bring all of New Jersey’s resources to bear against cyber threats, leading and coordinating New Jersey’s cybersecurity efforts while building resiliency to cyber threats throughout the state.

Through the Whova event and conference app, attendees can virtually register and participate in six workshops featuring more than 20 cybersecurity experts from industry, government and academia, including:

  • The Growing Array of Career Choices in Cybersecurity: What Qualifications Do You Need?
  • A History You Never Knew Existed: Lessons From Cybersecurity’s Rich, Untold History
  • Staying a Step Ahead of Cybercriminals: The University’s Role in Cybersecurity Research and Development
  • Diversity Employment in Cybersecurity: Opportunities for Women and Minorities
  • What’s New in Higher Education Cybersecurity Programs
  • New Jersey as a Cybersecurity Hub

“The NJEDA is very pleased to be a supporting partner in this innovative conference. The New Jersey Cybersecurity sector is developing rapidly as we transition to remote channels of working in our COVID 19 environment. This conference will accelerate the connection between students interested in gaining Cybersecurity knowledge and skills and private sector companies that have significant employment opportunities within this emerging and critically important ecosystem,” said Bill Penders, New Jersey Economic Development Authority senior advisor.

Conference speakers include cybersecurity experts from: Seton Hall University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stockton University, National Security Agency/Central Security Agency, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Edge, PSEG, Cybereason and the Malicious Life podcast, NIKSUN, Acreto, and SHI.

A key feature of the program is a question and answer networking session, “Day in a Life,” from 2 to 3 p.m., providing actual guidance to students who want to enter this field. Students will be able to question recent graduates working in cybersecurity about their positions, their companies, and how they got their start in cybersecurity.

For more information and to register, please visit www.shu.edu/njcybersecurity.