SANS Institute and The Labour Fund (Tamkeen) launched this week the second phase of the Cyber Reskilling Program in Bahrain. Following the success of the first phase in 2022, this year, SANS and Tamkeen continue their strategic partnership to deliver two programs that will allow 60 students to gain GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) and GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certifications within the training period. SANS will also continue to offer participants a supported pathway to enter the cybersecurity workforce. This initiative is aligned with Tamkeen’s strategic direction and is a response to Bahraini market demands in the technology sector that require high-quality and specialized tech training opportunities.
During the first round of the program with Tamkeen the latest SANS graduates showed high levels of knowledge and confidence, which contributed towards gradually bridging the cybersecurity skills gap in Bahrain, according to feedback from engaged employers and organisations.
“The success of the program speaks for itself. With 40% of students scoring over 90% in their GSEC and GCIH exams, and 82% and 86% passing their respective exams on the first attempt, it’s clear that this training is providing students with the necessary tools to achieve their cybersecurity goals,” said Ned Baltagi, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at SANS Institute.
Commenting on this initiative, Mr. Ali Hasan, Executive Director of Programs and Partnership Development at the Labour Fund (Tamkeen), stated: “We are proud of the first group of Bahraini students that participated in the Cyber Reskilling Program run by SANS Institute. Their knowledge, dedication and exemplary commitment contributed to the success of this initiative and showcased the potential of Bahraini talent in this niche field. Tamkeen will continue to identify and support initiatives that empower Bahrainis and enhance their competitiveness both locally and internationally.”
With 3.5 million unfilled positions worldwide, there is a critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers right now. In Bahrain, cybersecurity is a high-demand employment option in financial services, information technology, and manufacturing. With cyberattacks increasing in volume after the mass transition to remote work due to COVID-19, there is an increased demand for qualified cybersecurity specialists and experts in the country, from both enterprises and the government.
Khalifa Yaseen, a student who successfully graduated from the first Cyber Reskilling Program designed to prepare successful applicants for security roles by introducing them to key cybersecurity principles and techniques across three SANS courses, earned an invitation to the GIAC Advisory Board with his scores – a forum of GIAC certified professionals to exchange ideas and advice, as well as opportunities to provide input to courseware and exam development.
“The Cyber Reskilling Program was such a rewarding experience overall,” said Yaseen. “Through the program, I had the opportunity to interact and introduce myself to various companies, and I have secured an opportunity with Beyon Cyber to develop my skills in this field.”
In just eight weeks, the Cyber Reskilling Program identifies and re-skills individuals, opening several prospects for professional growth and development in all sorts of junior cybersecurity roles. There is immense untapped potential in Bahrain, and together with Tamkeen, SANS aims to continue to generate opportunities that will upskill Bahrainis, bridge the gap, and support enterprises in the Kingdom, consequently elevating Bahraini talent within the region and globally.
Bahraini individuals and enterprises interested in participating in the second round of the programs will be able to apply directly via the SANS website. The training programs are supported by Tamkeen.