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Building stronger firewall

Bridgewater funds scholarships to increase cybersecurity talent pool

NYU Tandon Professor Nasir Memon, right, presents a letter of acceptance to Caitlin Quintero Weaver, the first Cyber Fellow.

Facing stiff recruitment competition for cybersecurity specialists, Bridgewater Associates LP, Westport, Conn., is going to the source — specifically New York University's Tandon School of Engineering — to find talented young analysts and control operators.

Bridgewater is providing funding for five scholarships for students from underrepresented minority groups for the school's new Cyber Fellowship online master's degree program, which begins this year. Bridgewater also will help fund 25 more scholarships next year.

NYU also is contributing to the Bridgewater scholarship program by reducing tuition for the entire master's program to $7,500, university spokeswoman Kathleen Hamilton said.

The cybersecurity degree now is offered as a part-time, three-year program to accommodate working students. A full-time, two-year degree program will be offered beginning next year, Ms. Hamilton said.

"Cybersecurity is a very hot area now and there's a supply-demand imbalance," said Richard A. Falkenrath, Bridgewater's chief security officer, noting the firm's strong technology orientation requires "a steady flow of fresh talent."

Mr. Falkenrath said Bridgewater has changed its recruitment approach for cybersecurity to emphasize entry-level hires and will engage NYU Tandon scholarship holders as interns and might convince some graduates to join the firm.

Like many money managers, Bridgewater is committed to increasing diversity within the firm. Hiring cybersecurity scholarship students will broaden the number of employees from minority groups within the company, Mr. Falkenrath said.

Bridgewater managed a total of $160 billion in hedge funds and risk-parity strategies as of July 31.