News Article | April 19, 2017
The nation’s colleges and universities are scrambling to add courses to prepare students to fill the huge number of cybersecurity jobs that have arisen due to exponential growth in hacking worldwide. The extent of the problem isn’t clear; analysts say the number of job vacancies ranges from 100,000 to 350,000, with as many as 45,000 positions in California. Ashton Mozano, a cybersecurity professor at the University of San Diego, says there are thousands of $80,000 entry-level jobs available to applicants who have nothing more than an undergraduate degree in computer science or computer engineering. Analysts are trying to nail down the actual number of openings. “The cybersecurity industry does not have the best track record when it comes to quantification,” said Stephen Cobb, a senior researcher in the San Diego office of ESET, a digital security company. But the shortfall is real. And a lot of the blame has been placed on academia for failing to train large numbers of students with targeted skills. Industry and government officials also are being criticized for failing to define their needs more clearly — a key component for helping colleges solve the labor shortage. Academia is trying to fix the problem, especially in San Diego County, where hackers routinely assault the region’s huge military, defense and science communities, as well as the assets of consumers. National University, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, UC San Diego Extension and Palomar College now teach courses that weren’t available 5 to 10 years ago. USD also closely works with Circadence Corp., a company in Kearny Mesa that specializes in the “gamification” of cybersecurity training. Students are exposed to high-resolution videos and graphics that give them a sense of what a real “hack attack” is like. They also use the immersive software to learn how to spot and prevent digital assaults. The company is led by Mozano, who is also part of USD’s growing cyber program. He’s trying to change the way students are taught in hopes to drawing larger numbers of people into the field quickly. “Unfortunately, presenting technical training in an aesthetically pleasant way does not seem to be a high priority among course material developers,” Mozano said. “Certain academic fields in mathematics and engineering are infamous for presenting material in drab, monotonic, esoteric, non-interactive manners.” Analysts said that compounds the problem because cybersecurity already suffers from an image problem. The field pays well, but many computer-science students would rather create new products and technologies for Apple and Google than design and operate systems that spot, resist and mitigate a widening variety of attacks. “Computer science is sexy. Cyber isn’t,” said P.K. Agarwal, regional dean of Northeastern University’s Silicon Valley campuses, which teach cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity can be a high-stress job where you can get fired if things go wrong, and no one pats you on the back if there were no problems overnight,” he added. Analysts said the industry needs to jazz things up and highlight job opportunities. “The chances are excellent for graduates of homeland security and cyber security degree programs to enter the job market directly out of college,” said Lance Larson, assistant director of the Graduate Program in Homeland Security at SDSU. “The reality for recent graduates is that they need a degree, experience, and certification; this is really the perfect trifecta for graduates to have a powerful job seeker portfolio. “At San Diego State University’s Graduate Program we are requiring students to intern, starting with our 2018 graduate class, to allow students to gain practical experience required for the job market.” “One thing we do to improve students’ skills and make them more marketable is provide opportunities to work with local small businesses and nonprofits to conduct free security assessments as part of their final Capstone project,” said Chris Simpson, director of National’s Center for Cybersecurity “Students who gain experience from this applied learning and who have the opportunity to network within the tech community have shared with us how well-prepared they are for the job market.” The staffing shortage is serious enough that, “The president should … train 100,000 new cybersecurity practitioners by 2020,” the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity said on Dec. 1. The shortage also means “you’ll see more things like the Tesco attack, which targeted bank accounts (in England), and a greater risk to health-care records and everyday devices like your phone,” said John Callahan, director of cybersecurity programs at the University of San Diego. “In the digital age, this is potentially the greatest period of risk that consumers have ever faced.” There’s special concern about ransomware, a type of malicious software that hackers can use to remotely take control of computers, including those in automobiles. In most cases, victims have paid money — from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars — to regain control. For example, hackers carried out such an attack against Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in February, forcing the hospital to pay $17,000 in ransom. The U.S. Justice Department estimates there are about 4,000 attempted ransomware attacks each day against individuals, companies and the government, and that many of them are successful. “Based on FBI statistics, bank robbery in the U.S. is a $40 million a year problem, whereas cyber criminals using ransomware are making over $200 million per quarter,” said Cobb at ESET. “And while a handful of bank robbers are shot dead every year, there are no reports of cyber criminals ever being killed in the commission of a crime,” he added. The federal government and the military began to significantly ramp up their efforts to fight cyber attacks about a decade ago. Security firms and a wide range of companies did the same. The results have been mixed. Analysts said most cyber attacks, including some pretty sophisticated ones, are blocked or minimized. But hackers have quickly adapted to every method used to stop them, leading to damaging and embarrassing breaches amid an ongoing game of cat and mouse.
News Article | May 2, 2017
LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has evaluated the best colleges and universities in California for 2017. Of the 50 four-year schools who made the list, Stanford University, University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology, University of California Los Angeles and University of California Berkeley came in as the top five. Of the 50 two-year schools ranked, Santa Rosa Junior College, Pasadena City College, Ohlone College, College of San Mateo and Mission College were the top five. A full list of schools is included below. “California offers students some of the highest-quality academic opportunities in the country, and the schools on our list are the best of the best,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Not only do these colleges and universities offer outstanding degree programs, they also provide their students with career resources and counseling services that equip them for post-college success.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in California” list, institutions must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit schools. Each college is ranked on additional statistics including the number of degree programs offered, the availability of career and academic resources, the opportunity for financial aid, graduation rates and annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in California” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in California for 2017 include: Art Center College of Design Azusa Pacific University California Baptist University California Institute of Technology California Lutheran University California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo California State University-Long Beach Chapman University Claremont McKenna College Concordia University-Irvine Dominican University of California Fresno Pacific University Harvey Mudd College Holy Names University Loma Linda University Loyola Marymount University Mills College Mount Saint Mary's University National University Notre Dame de Namur University Occidental College Pacific Union College Pepperdine University Pitzer College Point Loma Nazarene University Pomona College Saint Mary's College of California San Diego State University San Francisco State University San Jose State University Santa Clara University Scripps College Stanford University University of California-Berkeley University of California-Davis University of California-Irvine University of California-Los Angeles University of California-Riverside University of California-San Diego University of California-Santa Barbara University of California-Santa Cruz University of La Verne University of Redlands University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California University of the Pacific Westmont College Whittier College Woodbury University The Best Two-Year Colleges in California for 2017 include: Allan Hancock College American River College Bakersfield College Butte College Cabrillo College Canada College Chabot College Chaffey College Citrus College City College of San Francisco College of San Mateo College of the Canyons College of the Siskiyous Contra Costa College Copper Mountain College Crafton Hills College Cuesta College Cypress College De Anza College Diablo Valley College Feather River College Foothill College Fresno City College Las Positas College Lassen Community College Long Beach City College MiraCosta College Mission College Modesto Junior College Monterey Peninsula College Mt. San Antonio College Napa Valley College Ohlone College Orange Coast College Palomar College Pasadena City College Riverside City College Sacramento City College Saddleback College San Bernardino Valley College San Diego Mesa College Santa Ana College Santa Barbara City College Santa Rosa Junior College Shasta College Skyline College Solano Community College Southwestern College West Valley College Yuba College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.