NIIT University (NU) today said it has partnered consultancy firm PwC India for creating a trained talent pool of cyber security professionals in India.

Under the partnership, academic experts from NU and senior professionals from PwC India have co—created a two—year work—integrated specialised Master’s Programme in cyber security.

“Cyber security market is currently at $1 billion and is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025. The demand for skilled professionals in the space is very high coming from across industry sectors and government,” NIIT Group Chairman and NU founder Rajendra S Pawar told reporters.

The key driver in the programme is industry—led research in the cyber security space, he added.

IT industry body Nasscom had launched a cyber security task force earlier this year with an aim to expand India’s share in the segment from one per cent to 10 per cent by 2025 and create a trained base of one million certified and skilled cyber security professionals.

“In today’s digitised environment, securing our cyberspace has become a priority for businesses and citizens across the world. This calls for a team of trained professionals who are equipped to combat the challenges that are posed by hackers every day. Our partnership with PwC India is a step in that direction,” Pawar said.

PwC India Chairman Deepak Kapoor said cyber security is a major focus area and growth driver for the company.

“We currently have around 300 people in this practice and will need to increase it tenfold to about 3,000 people over the next 4—5 years,” he said.

The programme, which has a course fee of over Rs 4 lakh, will emphasise on security analytics, threat intelligence, industrial control system and vulnerability analysis.

PwC India will jointly select the candidates along with NU and provide expert faculty from within the firm and other industry practitioners for delivery of the programme.

The consulting firm will also invest in training and development of the candidates who will be employed with PwC India after the programme.

In the second year of the programme, PwC India will provide six months’ on—site training to the candidates. PwC India will pay the students a scholarship throughout the two years of the programme towards maintenance costs.

The first batch of the Master’s Programme in Cyber Security will commence from July 2016.