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Colleges Rush to Create Cybersecurity Soldiers

Saint Leo University launched its masters program in cybersecurity last August.

Institutions of higher learning are educating more cybersecurity students and professionals, partly in response to recent increases in computer attacks.

Credit: Saint Leo University

The recent increase in computer attacks at major corporations have pushed colleges and universities into educating more cybersecurity students and professionals.

For example, the University of Tampa (UT) recently announced it will begin offering an undergraduate major in cybersecurity this fall, while Saint Leo University launched a master's program in cybersecurity in August, complementing its undergraduate program in information assurance and security. In addition, Florida Polytechnic University has a concentration in information assurance and cybersecurity in its computer science and information technology degree track, and the University of South Florida opened the Florida Cybersecurity Center with the help of a $5-million allocation from the state government.

"With all of the high-profile breaches over this last year or so, more focus has been on security than I've ever seen," says UT professor Kenneth Knapp, head of the university's cybersecurity program.

There were 209,749 national postings for cybersecurity jobs in 2013, up 74 percent from 2007, and the average salary for those jobs was $93,028, according to Burning Glass.

"For us, it's trying to keep up with the demand," says Derek Mohammed, chairman of the computer science department at Saint Leo. Interest in the university's inaugural master's program in cybersecurity has been double what was expected.

From Tampa Tribune (FL)
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