JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida was recognized for its cyber defense education.
The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated the university’s School of Computing as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
Cybersecurity is creating more jobs for today's students.
"The hottest job in the market nowadays is cybersecurity analysis," said Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy, UNF School of Computing director.
Dr. Swapnoneel Roy, UNF associate professor of computing, said there are multiple cutting-edge cybersecurity aspects that students will learn while participating in the program.
"Software security, like network security, web security, system security, cryptographic, mobile security," Roy said.
UNF graduate student Richard Lentz said studying cyber defense was an easy decision.
"You get to kind of figure out how to break into things, how to break the rules, in a way. But ... you're doing it more as a good actor, so that you can prevent things from happening in the future and stuff like that," Lentz said. "And, of course, the money definitely is a big driver for cybersecurity."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, the average salary for people with careers in cybersecurity was nearly $100,000 a year. The job outlook is growing at 32%, which is much quicker than the average rate for other occupations.
In an ever-growing and technological world, cybersecurity is vital to keeping people safe while doing every day things.
"The openness that our houses, our equipment has -- now everything is now connected to the internet," Elfayoumy said. "Everyone now has an Alexa or Google Home, so that opens up many doors for the bad actors, if you will."
UNF will hold the prestigious designation through 2024.