The FBI and other US government departments want to recruit cybersecurity specialists, while the private sector also is throwing big money at qualified job candidates. To help fill this jobs void, a growing number of universities are creating programs to develop the next wave of security specialists.
Cybersecurity jobs soared 74 percent from 2007 to 2013, and there are a number of appealing opportunities for candidates. With such fierce competition for the current crop of security specialists, universities are broadening security-themed offerings from one or two courses to minor and major programs, or certifications.
"The demand is very high. I've had students get into cyberspace companies with just one security class, never mind an entire major," said Kenneth Knapp, IT management professor at University of Tampa and head of its cybersecurity program. "With all of the high-profile breaches over this last year or so, more focus has been on security than I've ever seen, and I've been doing it since I was 21 years old in the Air Force."