By William Reid, LCDR, USN (Ret), Program Director, Cybersecurity, Coleman University
Coleman University proudly salutes the military, both current service members and veterans. As one of the Military Friendly® Schools in the U.S., we are in the top 15% nationwide that delivers the best experience for military students. At Coleman, our mission is to deliver relevant education that prepares individuals for technology-focused careers, and our programs are approved for veteran training. We are here to assist veteran students with the transition back into civilian life by helping them either update their existing skill set or provide them with the skills needed to embark on a new career.
One of the greatest workforce shortages organizations are facing today is in cybersecurity. According to a 2015 Peninsula Press analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow by 53 percent through 20181. As large and small organizations invest their monetary resources and labor into protecting serious, ongoing data breaches, new threats arise on a daily basis.
To combat this workforce shortage, Coleman offers a bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity. Here, students learn how to design and build secure networks, recover data after a catastrophe, and remove malware from systems. Instructors provide in-the-field hands-on situations to enhance classroom learning. Prior to program completion, qualified students are allowed to sit for the Security+ certification, one of the many in-demand certifications sought after by employers.
Coleman proactively seeks out other stakeholders in San Diego to address common workforce concerns. Most recently, we applied for a grant from The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), whose like-minded mission is to “energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.” Through this grant, we intend to work with K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and local employers, in order to provide early opportunities for education and mentoring in cybersecurity.
Our existing partners include National University, The Preuss School UCSD, local employers, and professional organizations, such as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Inc. (ISACA). In conjunction with National University, we intend to develop a talent pipeline for students interested in pursuing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in cybersecurity. If awarded the NICE grant, our work with The Preuss School UCSD in La Jolla, a charter middle and high school for low income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college, will include establishing mentoring and early cybersecurity awareness programs for these students. Topics will include such things as cyber-bullying and cyber-predators.
The employment outlook for cyber jobs in the area is positive. In June 2016, the Cyber Center of Excellence released the report, San Diego’s Cybersecurity Industry: An Economic Impact Analysis and Workforce Study, and noted that there is a 13% projected cyber employment growth in San Diego in the next 12 months, compared to 2% overall regional job growth2.
Coleman University is ready to help prepare veterans for a career in cybersecurity. Call us today at 858-499-0202 to schedule an appointment with one of our admissions representatives, or visit us online at www.coleman.edu.
1″Demand to Fill Cybersecurity Jobs Booming – Peninsula Press.” Peninsula Press, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 18 July 2016.
2″San Diego’s Cybersecurity Industry: An Economic Impact Analysis and Workforce Study.” SAN DIEGO’S CYBERSECURITY INDUSTRY (2016): 1-47. Cyber Center of Excellence. Web. 18 July 2016.