Over the past three years, Ed Garcia has learned right along with his students at Moorpark College when it comes to cybersecurity. Like a lot of IT professionals, he didn’t spend much time thinking about cyber threats until talk of hacking and cybercrime picked up in the media. Garcia used his drive and connections to […]
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California Cyberhub Advisor Henry Danielson’s introduction to cybersecurity came in the form of a headache at his day job. He was the Director of Technology at the Coast Unified School District and found himself dealing with an attack on the district’s WordPress site, followed by a phishing attack on employee email accounts. Rather than sit […]
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When Anna Carlin started working in IT in the 1980s, there were more women in the field than she saw 20 years later as an IT instructor. Over the years, Carlin has used her experience in education and industry to help students understand the value that working in IT and cybersecurity can bring and inspire […]
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Jay Gehringer spent 27 years as a high school band director before making the transition into cybersecurity education. He knows firsthand the value that comes from being well-rounded and having expertise in multiple areas. As a cyber coach and mentor at North Hollywood High School, he passes that lesson onto his students as they prepare […]
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Starting a cyber team involves hard work and dedication under normal circumstances. New coaches need to make arrangements with their schools, recruit students, and begin building community partnerships. Now imagine trying to do all of those things while your community is recovering from devastating wildfires. That’s the situation computer science teacher Edwin Kang found himself […]
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Skip Brewer is the Computer Security Manager at the Elk Grove Unified School District, a position he took after several years in the IT industry. Given that experience, he was a little skeptical about cyber competitions when one of his teachers approached him about using a school computer lab to start a team. “The first […]
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Ticket Into Tech shows that IT and cybersecurity are for everyone Michael Specchierla’s career began as a teacher and librarian more than 20 years ago. As computers and the Internet made their way into schools in the mid-1990s, he quickly saw the potential they could have and, although he didn’t know exactly how everything worked, […]
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After more than two decades of working in the private sector, Sara Gopalan saw firsthand the gap between what students were learning and what was needed to be successful in the cybersecurity field. She decided to take matters into her own hands and become a teacher herself. In just a few years, she has become […]
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San Diego is uniquely positioned to be a leader in cybersecurity — not only in California but in the United States and even the world. The city’s proximity to the U.S. military and some of the world’s biggest technology companies has created more than 7,500 cybersecurity jobs.
RADM (Ret.) Kenneth Slaght is at the forefront of growing them and establishing San Diego’s standing in the process. Slaght is Chair and President of the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), an organization established in 2014 to address the region’s cybersecurity industry needs.
“Companies in the region like Qualcomm and FICO said workforce was the biggest issue they faced,” Slaght said. “There are more than 100 companies doing cyber work in this region and they can’t find the people to fill their open positions.”
Thanks to the efforts of Slaght and his team, and the partnerships they’ve made with education and industry, the CCOE is well on its way to tackling that problem and building a robust cybersecurity workforce. The organization maintains a job board of hundreds of open positions and created a career map that shows education and certification pathways to join this in-demand industry.
“On any given day, there are 80-100 job openings here in the region,” Slaght said. “The region’s colleges are just meeting or barely meeting that demand without accounting for the fact that we lose many of our graduates to places like Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.”
While the region’s universities and colleges graduate over 3,000 computer science and engineering students each year, the demand for qualified cyber workers continues to increase across all sectors.
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Dan Manson saw for the vision of what cybersecurity education could become long before many people even knew what cybersecurity was.
Over the past 20 years, he’s helped expand cyber competitions across California while serving as a professor and chair of the Computer Information Systems department at Cal Poly Pomona. After seeing so much success in California, he’s ready to do the same thing in Nevada, where he now lives.
“California has gone so far down the road that they don’t need me,” Manson said. “There are other places that aren’t very far down that road where I can still have an impact.”
Manson joined the cybersecurity world in 2001 after hearing about a Department of Education grant aimed at improving campus cybersecurity. He thought that there might be an opportunity for faculty to become involved and — as he’s done many times throughout his career — invited himself to the meetings to learn more about it.
That grant lead to two $900,000 NSF Advanced Technical Education grants, one in 2003 and one in 2007. Those funds were aimed at workforce development and allowed Manson to begin building partnerships with other colleges that have only grown stronger over time.
In addition, Manson led the effort for Cal Poly Pomona to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education in 2005, 2008 and 2014.
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