Estimates based on cybersecurity job postings indicate that employers seek nearly 50,000 workers in Virginia and 64,000 in the Washington D.C. metro area. Nationally, the workforce gap is estimated to exceed 500,000 jobs. These calculations of the workforce gap vary depending on how “cybersecurity” is defined. Using a working definition that focuses on subject areas at the intersection of data, security and autonomy, a range of high-value employee skill sets can be identified, such as cryptography, compliance with legal standards, information security, computer network defense and forensics.
Approximately 2,000 students are currently enrolled in cybersecurity-focused programs at public and private higher education institutions in the Commonwealth, and about 14,000 are enrolled in cybersecurity-related programs, including those in more generalized areas of computer and data sciences. Many institutions have specialized degrees in cybersecurity, while others approach specialization through minors supporting computer engineering and computer science majors.
Many of Virginia’s universities and community colleges are recognized by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as National Centers of Excellence in Cyber Defense and Cyber Operations.
Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) works with institutions of higher education across Virginia to align and enhance the exceptional pipelines and platforms already in place, and to provide more and better experiential learning opportunities for students.