New UAH degree aims to fill cyber security jobs gap


Experts say we don’t have enough people to fight off cyber attacks. 

New research shows the number of unfilled cyber security jobs has reached three million globally. A new degree program at UAH is trying to help fill the gap in jobs.

Cyber theft has been called the fastest-growing crime in the U.S. and reportedly costs the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. The cyber security industry leaks into more areas of your life than you might think since technology is advancing so quickly.

“The heating and air conditioning control unit on your wall to high-speed, low-drag cyber operation types of activities,” Daniel Lambert with the cyber security company Sentar gave examples.

Lambert says his company feels the impact of the job shortage.

“We certainly have felt it,” he said. “All of our teammates and partners within industry are constantly trying to recruit.”

“We did a survey of employers in the area and students and asked what their interest cyber security was,” said UAH Professor Rhonda Gaede. “The results were very much that people were every interested in cyber security.”

At UAH a new bachelor’s degree in cyber security is spurring interest in the field and that field covers a lot.

“A water tower, a waste water treatment plant, and a segment of a gas pipeline,” another UAH professor showed 3D diagrams of each.

Students in the new degree program will be working with the virtual versions of those industrial control systems.

Lambert says workforce development is key to filling jobs.

“We try and reach out to middle schools and high schools, community college, advanced college, military,” he said. “Anywhere we can spread the word about cyber and get people interested.”

There’s a lot going on in Huntsville in terms of cyber security. There are a number of camps for kids and the new cyber security magnet school will be built in the city.

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