The growing need for cybersecurity training in Florida was a hot topic at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s recent Future of Florida Forum, where they launched their Florida 2030 project.
In a recent article by Florida Politics, Eman El-Sheikh, the director of the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida said “Right now, we have 13,000 cybersecurity jobs that are unfilled in Florida — these are jobs that have an average starting wage of $85,000.”
Here in Santa Rosa County cybersecurity and information technology training starts in our middle schools with Santa Rosa Career Pathways. Students can then move on to the Applied Cybersecurity and Computer Systems & Information Technology programs at Locklin Technical College, or the Computer Information Systems program at Pensacola State College before entering the workforce with industry certifications.
“I agree with Eman El-Sheikh’s assessment that you don’t have to attend a 4-year University to acquire the knowledge and skills required to work in the Cybersecurity field,” said Maria LaDouceur, Principal at Locklin Technical College.
“Most of the jobs in Cybersecurity require less than 2 years of specialized training in Cybersecurity supported by specific industry certifications,” said LaDouceur. "In today’s education environment, students can attend a technical college and complete a post-secondary career education program in cybersecurity in less than one year and have the knowledge, skills and certifications required to go straight to work. Technical colleges are an affordable, lucrative option for today’s students. Technical college training programs also allows Florida to promptly produce and grow their workforce.”
Northwest Florida has a critical mass of anchor operations that rivals some of the nation’s most successful cybersecurity strongholds with companies such as AppRiver, Navy Federal Credit Union, The Studer Group and government agencies such as NCCIC DHS, Navy Center for Information Warfare Training, National Cybersecurity/Communications Integration Center and others.