Education and Workforce Workforce Spotlight: Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush

To kick of #WorkforceWednesday, we’re starting with Wes Bush, Chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee. As Bush explains:

“The workforce shortage in cybersecurity and STEM-related fields poses a serious problem not only for our economy but also for our national security. Northrop Grumman is confronting this challenge head-on through innovative partnerships with business, government and academia. We are dedicated to increasing STEM-related educational opportunities for today’s students so they can fill America’s security and workforce needs as a new generation of talented, diverse cybersecurity professionals.”

Here’s a look at ongoing workforce development initiatives led by Northrop Grumman and CEO Wes Bush. Additional information can be found here.

The Problem

  • The United States faces a severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals, projected to be 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022.
  • A 2015 U.S. Department of Labor study revealed that women fill less than 20 percent of information security analyst jobs and people of color less than 12 percent of these positions.
  • Cyberterrorism poses a real and growing threat to critical U.S. infrastructures as well as personal and national security — increasing demand for cyber-enabled graduates and exacerbating an already pressing challenge resulting from workforce shortages in this crucial field.


The Programs

Northrop Grumman has partnered with the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), state governments, and university leaders to increase the number of graduates in STEM fields and in cybersecurity, specifically. The company has helped create, sponsor, or develop successful programs at three universities:

  • Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), University of Maryland — College Park: Designed as an honors, undergraduate program in cybersecurity with curriculum co-developed through a partnership of faculty and industry. Students work in teams to solve real-world application problems through hands-on projects, mentoring and internships.
  • UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, University of Maryland — Baltimore County (UMBC): At UMBC, which enrolls diverse students at a rate exceeding national averages, programs such as UMBC Cyber Scholars support STEM students financially and foster retention through common on-campus learning, housing, events and internships. Every cyber scholar is assigned a faculty mentor to support them as they navigate the curriculum and engage in research projects.
  • Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo: This university has partnered with local charter high schools serving underprivileged minority students to establish a diverse pipeline of talented engineering students. With the establishment of a Cybersecurity Center, the opening of a new cyber lab, the development of cybersecurity curriculum, and a multifaceted scholarship and internship program, Cal Poly is poised to become a leading provider of cyber-ready experts, professionals and innovators. Northrop Grumman continues to work on scaling this successful model.


The Progress

Leveraging this partnership model, Northrop Grumman and CEO Wes Bush have helped increase the number STEM students at each of these universities, with notable success in expanding diversity:

  • Female representation at these schools now exceeds the national average, ranging from 44 percent to 47 percent.
  • Representation among students of color is over 40 percent in these engineering schools.

Overall, undergraduate enrollment has increased and, with sustained engagement of students, faculty and company leaders, these partnerships are resulting in higher student retention and a larger number of diverse graduates who are prepared to operate and excel in this ever-changing, high-threat environment.

To learn more about Northrop Grumman’s workforce development initiatives and ongoing efforts of other Business Roundtable CEO member companies, please visit:

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