Florida Is Investing Over $15 Million In Cybersecurity Training - Creating Jobs For The Future, Combatting Cybercrime

Toby Hazlewood

Governor DeSantis announces investment

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Gov. DeSantis at USFScreenshot from YouTube

On July 1, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced that $15.6 million of state funds have been invested in cybersecurity training and education - allocated out of the state's $109.9 billion 'Freedom First' budget.

The money will be used to train thousands of high school and college students in the state to equip them for working in the field of cybersecurity in the future. Commenting on the initiative, Governor DeSantis had this to say:

“We will continue to invest in ensuring Florida’s high schools and colleges offer programs that allow students to immediately enter the workforce with the ability to secure high-paying jobs. This funding will not only advance the educational opportunities for Florida students seeking employment in this critical field, but will also create a safer and more stable cyberspace for our future generations."

Not only are jobs in cybersecurity currently amongst the best-paid jobs available in the field of Information Technology, but the need for skilled staff in the field is expected to increase in the short to medium term.

Cybercrime is becoming more common and severe

According to a study by the University of Maryland, a new cybercrime happens every 39 seconds within the United States. It's estimated that one in three Americans will be a victim of cybercrime every year, whether that's having their password stolen, an account hacked or a more severe online theft of money or aspects of their identity.

The number of large-scale cyber attacks on corporations in America and around the world is on the increase too.

In 2021, America witnessed the impacts of large-scale cyber attacks when the Colonial oil and gas pipeline was hacked, causing the pipeline to be shut down until a $5 million ransom had been paid. The hack caused a temporary shortage of gasoline across the U.S. after supplies shut down and motorists started panic-buying fuel.

Later in 2021, JBS meat packers - America's largest processor of meat - was also subject to a similar attack by Russian cyber criminals. For a period in 2021, meat supplies were threatened and some shortages witnessed on supermarket shelves.

According to data from the FBI, they received 850,000 reports of cybercrime in 2021 with a total of over $6.9 billion lost to cyber criminals.

Against such staggering numbers of crimes being committed, it's clear to see why there's a need for highly trained cybersecurity professionals to work in preventing and combatting crime.

Thousands of unfilled jobs

In 2018 the University of North Georgia estimated that there were over 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States, with related job postings increasing by 74% in the preceding year.

Clearly there are plentiful jobs in cybersecurity, and they are highly paid too - talent.com suggest that entry-level positions are paid $89,256 and the average for cybersecurity professionals is $117,118 per year.

As such, it seems like Florida's high school and university students could be in a good position to secure highly paid work in the future, if they complete the cybersecurity education being provided by the state.

Have you been affected by cybercrime? Would you be willing to train to work as a cybersecurity professional? Let me know in the comments section below.

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