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USF Looks At Adding Cybersecurity Program

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Whether it's getting your credit card account hacked, or the National Security Agency spying on everyday people, cybersecurity is becoming one of the biggest jobs in information technology. According to Homeland Security 30,000 cybersecurity specialists are needed and only 2,000 people qualify for those jobs. USF wants to change that. The school is developing a cybersecurity program they hope to get off the ground in a few months.

Sri Sridharan is with the Center for Cybersecurity at USF. He says the school wants to build a Master's, Bachelor's, and certificate program.

"Years from now when someone in Boise, Idaho has a question about cybersecurity the first response should be 'hey, talk to those guys at USF,'" Sridharan said.

Sridharan's heard from many companies in the area saying they can't find anyone qualified for the IT job. According to a recent report, job analysts expect an average growth rate for IT jobs in the bay area to grow by 16 percent in the next few years.

"They're all struggling to find these professionals," Sridharan said. "The average salary for these jobs is six figures."

USF is now in the process of applying for grants and working with the state, hoping to get the program up and running in the next few months.
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