The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2). was founded in 2014 by the state government to bring the state universities and businesses together. FC2 is housed at the University of South Florida, a geographically centralized location in the state. But the effort involves all 12 members of the state’s public university system.
Academic institutions are key elements in supplying cybersecurity workers because employers want to hire educated and experienced staff. As many as 84 percent of cybersecurity job postings require a bachelor’s degree, and 83 percent need at least three years of experience.
Our increasingly connected and digital world is vulnerable to attack and needs more skilled professionals who know how to defend it. As connected devices proliferate, particularly smart devices creating what has been called the “Internet of Things,” the problem is getting worse. In 2016, there were 6.4 billion connected devices in use in homes and businesses across the country. By 2020, that number is expected to more than triple. There aren’t enough people with the skills and experience to protect us. An analysis of federal data found that more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. went unfilled in 2015. Major cybersecurity companies like Cisco and Symantec have projected that global demand for cyber professionals could grow to 6 million by 2019 – with as many as 1.5 million of those positions going unfilled for lack of qualified candidates.