As cybercrime and cyberthreats increase, so too does the demand for an educated workforce to combat them. While more than 768,000 people were employed in cybersecurity as of March 2018, another 301,000 jobs remained open across the United States, according to CyberSeek.org. In Utah alone, CyberSeek.org estimates 2,115 job openings in cybersecurity. And that’s a problem.
“A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem,” according to StaySafeOnline.org, the website for the National Cyber Security Alliance.
But educators and employers can build stronger defenses, StaySafeOnline.org says, by “raising the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals.”
“There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages — from high school into higher education and beyond — on the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options,” according to StaySafeOnline.org. “In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available.”
Already, the U is at the forefront of bridging the skills gap with academic offerings, including majors in computer engineering, computer science, and information systems, and Student University Development Opportunity, its in-house paid IT internship program.
UIT and the Information Security Office (ISO), in particular, have been able to leverage the sUdo program to augment U degrees with the applied experience students need to enter the workforce.
ISO employs 10 students in a variety of security positions, including Identity Access Management, Information Security Assurance, and Monitoring and Logging. These students work closely with full-time employees, learning the skills and techniques that will allow them to be successful in a cybersecurity career. In fact, 98 percent of students leaving ISO are able to move directly into full-time positions either within the University of Utah or the private sector.