NSA gives grant to Augusta University Cyber Institute

Published: Feb. 22, 2017 at 6:24 PM EST
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News 12 NBC 26 @ 6:00 / Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta University's Cyber Institute is getting a big boost. A week after Governor Deal signed the Cyber Center's budget, now the school is seeing a grant from the NSA.

If it wasn't clear already Augusta University is becoming the place to be for cyber.

"So what' I'm telling you is the institute is working, what we're doing is working," Augusta University Cyber Institute Director Joanne Sexton said.

They've already expanded their reach into downtown Augusta and now they're reaching further, globally.

"We're in the right place at the right time, making things happen so we're very very fortunate," Sexton said.

Last week the NSA gave the school nearly a grant for nearly 300,000 dollars. The money could help students take a trip to see NATO's cyber security headquarters, but it's also helping add more cyber courses here.

"One thing is if you look at our name, it's the Cyber Institute, we didn't call it Cyber Security. And that was on purpose because cyber touches all of us. It's across all of the curriculum," she said.

That means cyber security, cyber terrorism, cyber in health care, and more. There's something to learn for every student.

"Federal to private to state, whatever, everyone needs this kind of work," Augusta University Cyber student Matthew Tennis said.

It's making students like Matthew ideal job candidates.

"I'm looking at either going into federal work in the intelligence industry or into private work in intelligence," he said.

"When you talk about cyber security, it's zero unemployment as long as you have the skills," Sexton said.

They're adding to the skills by adding graduate programs in intelligence analysis and security studies. And the cyber school has already doubled in size, more than 300 Augusta University students are in cyber programs. This is another way the school and the city area are virtually growing.

"Augusta University has a piece, our local community has been really supportive, but really it's about the whole team working together," she said.