The US depends on a secure and effective federal government, which requires a constant need to safeguard our critical digital infrastructure against threats. However, there is a shortage of interested, qualified talent. It is of the utmost interest to private corporations such as Mastercard, as well as federal agencies, to attract & recruit the brightest computer science graduates into the cybersecurity field. What was needed was a compelling recruitment program with a brand, name and identity.
Even though Mastercard was a leading participant in a nonpartisan, nonprofit cybersecurity workforce recruitment effort aimed at attracting the best and brightest computer science graduates in the cybersecurity field into public service, the brand could not use the Mastercard visual system. The program would need a differentiating brand and name that would intrigue candidates to learn more, appeal to a range of potential corporate sponsors, be grounded in the program’s attributes and convey an appropriately prestigious stature to draw highly qualified graduates away from flashier corporate cybersecurity jobs.
With a two-decade history of successful strategic branding programs developed for Mastercard, we were tapped to spearhead the naming and visual identity of the employment program. We drew from the key components of the program — values, attributes and qualities — to create a name, logo and design system that captures the importance of the initiative. The identity pulled from both technology and government influences to resonate with computer science graduates and communicate the program’s core mission.
• After we launched the brand in April 2019, three corporate sponsors joined the program: Microsoft, Workday and CyberVista
• The original goal was to recruit a cohort of 50 students for the first class in 2020. With hundreds of applicants to choose from, this goal will be reached:
o 437 applications submitted
o 135 interviews conducted
o 105 finalists selected for federal agency review