Florida Atlantic University receives state grant for cybersecurity training

by | Jul 27, 2022


  • Florida Atlantic University received a state grand in order to develop and integrate cybersecurity training to its preexisting infrastructure
  • The training is planned to be available through the university’s colleges of business, science, and engineering 
  • The funding comes as part of a $20 million initiative created by the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a higher level of cybersecurity and IT training in school across the state 
  • According to state data, there are more than 22,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in Florida

 

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) was awarded more than $800,000 by the state of Florida as part of a $15.6 million initiative to prepare students and mid-career professionals for jobs in the burgeoning fields of cybersecurity and information technology.

The College of Business, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science will be able to advertise and expand their current cybersecurity, cryptology, and business management certification courses and programs with the aid of the $838,483 award. By enticing more people to pursue jobs in these sectors, these undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as programs, will assist in alleviating a labor market shortfall.

The grant money will also be used by FAU to support CAREERS in Cybersecurity. The project’s objectives include curriculum improvements, more industry partnership and internship opportunities, K–12 outreach initiatives, an interactive and educational website, and a local mass marketing effort to reach interested students and workers in the area.

The funding comes from a joint effort by the Florida Department of Education, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.

“This is a powerful partnership, having three colleges work together with industry to increase the cybersecurity workforce,” said Nancy Romance, Ed.D., FAU’s principal investigator in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and co-author of the grant proposal.

cording to a survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited by the governor’s office, the number of cybersecurity positions is predicted to increase 33 percent faster than normal over the next ten years. Moreover, job ads for cybersecurity-related positions have grown by 43 percent in the last year, according to the CyberSeek website.

DeSantis has made a concerted effort to place cybersecurity at the forefront of vocational curricula, recently implementing a $20 million program to help facilitate grade school training in the field.

The program offers students as young as 11 and 12 the opportunity to acquire basic and foundational skills for the field of information technology, making it the first of its type in the country. According to DeSantis, Florida has upwards of 22,000 open high-paying cyber security jobs. He thinks the new initiative will assist fill these vacancies.

At the state level, a cybersecurity task force was created in order to review operations and make recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity efforts in Florida. In the current fiscal year, cybersecurity efforts have received $30 million in funding.

“We’re proud of this funding. We think it’s going to make a difference. You’ll probably see an immediate impact, but you’ll really the bigger impact in 5 to 10 years as this becomes something that is more standardized. It’s going to be a very good thing for all involved,” said DeSantis.

 

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