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[] Cyber Service der US-Regierung: "keine große Sache",

Cyber service not a 'great deal'

By Graeme Browning 
April 23, 2002

An 18-month-old scholarship program designed to encourage college 
students to work for the federal government as information security 
professionals after graduation provides so few real-world incentives 
that it's almost counterproductive, some noted academics in the 
computer security field said recently.

The National Science Foundation's Scholarship for Service is "a 
wonderful idea, with the emphasis on the word 'idea,' " said Matt 
Bishop, a computer science professor at the University of California, 
Davis, who specializes in the design of secure systems.

The program offers two-year scholarships to students who commit to 
serving in government security positions for two years as part of the 
Federal Cyber Service. It originally was modeled after the Reserve 
Officers Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship program, said Blaine 
Burnham, founding director of the Nebraska University Consortium on 
Information Assurance (NUCIA) and a former information security expert 
for the National Security Agency.

"But the federal government invested a lot of money to get ROTC 
going," Burnham said. In addition, with universities nationwide 
lacking information security specialists, "where are you going to get 
the faculty" to teach it?

Bishop and Burnham spoke April 22 at Infotec 2002, an information 
security conference in Omaha, Nebraska, sponsored by NUCIA and the 
Association of Information Technology Professionals.

UC-Davis, which has one of the premier computer security faculties in 
the country, did not apply to become one of the schools participating 
in the Scholarship for Service program because officials were not 
certain that enough students would sign up to justify investing 
precious funding, Bishop said.

Government salaries are so low in comparison to the salaries that 
security professionals can make in industry that students prefer to 
take out tuition loans and repay them after graduation instead of 
accepting the scholarship, he added. "They just don't see [the 
Scholarship for Service program] as that great a deal," he said.

Besides raising pay levels for graduates of the program, the NSF also 
should vary the requirements for the scholarship and the commitments 
required after graduation, Bishop and Burnham said. Some students, for 
example, want to work for the Defense Department and would be more 
interested in the scholarships if they weren't required to work in 
civilian agencies, the professors noted.

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