Leaders meet to discuss cyber in North Augusta

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Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018
News 12 First at Five

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Partnership is what people are stressing in North Augusta. People on both sides of the river say the only way for the industry to keep pace with all the people coming in is to spill over into South Carolina.

Robert Smith with EDTS in Augusta says there's a new buzzword.

"Businesses are trying to talk about their cybersecurity standing, how they become more secure," he said.

Over the last three years, Robert says their client base has increased every year, as industries in the area move to get with the program.

"The unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals is less than one percent."

But with the increased need for services their need for employees has grown too.

Smith said they intend to look into finding the most qualified candidates. Those candidates would be knowledgeable and also hold the certifications they need. A part of that stems from partnerships locally.

"We've revamped our degree offerings, and are now offering a degree in advanced computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity," he said.

Chad Leverette, interim Dean of Science and Engineering at USC Aiken says they are working with EDTS and several other companies.

Leverette goes on to list some of the very courses that will be offered. "New courses in cryptography, cyber defense, as well as network security just to name a few."

Industry leaders have stepped in to help mold programs and give students real work experience they need to get jobs.

"They will also work with industry to solve professional problems that exist within the industry," Leverette said.

Solving real clients problems as part of their senior capstone.

"We have more students and they're coming to us wanting to learn more about cyber."

Creating a ripple effect that doesn't stop at the river.

More discussions will be made about how businesses on the Augusta side and businesses on the South Carolina can begin joint training programs for cybersecurity. Even though it's been a well-known fact that South Carolina will play a role, they want it to be an introduction.