Groups turn to more veterans to help fill cybersecurity jobs

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Georgia ranks in the top ten among states with the largest shortage of cybersecurity workers.

To help fill the shortage the cyber field is turning to veterans to get them involved.

Cyber is growing so fast in Augusta, the workforce can't keep up.

Assistant Director of Operations for the Cyber Institute at Augusta University Karen Ribble says, "We know that we have a deficit in cybersecurity jobs which means we've got more job openings than we do have the skill set individuals to fill those slots."

And more veterans will be filling those jobs.

Jeremy Garcia was in the Georgia Army nNational Guard, but now he is studying Information Technology at AU.

He says skills from the military make veterans a great fit for cybersecurity jobs.

"We're familiar with the chain of command especially the certain hierarchies, some of these guys have been in the it industry in the service so they're bringing over their skill set and using it to their advantage," said Garcia.

Augusta University is taking a big step to get more veterans involved.

"We'll be offering a Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in cybersecurity on Fort Gordon," said Ribble.

The university is also looking at women to help fill cyber jobs, so they are starting to educate them at a young age.

"We have a Girls Who Code Initiative, it's for 6th through 12th grade so we figure if they're not sure, if they think of this as a career well we need to give them an introduction and the only way to do that is through an extracurricular activity like Girls Who Code Club," said Ribble.

The Girls Who Code Club has almost 100 girls and is growing.

Another local group looking to educate veterans is Cape Augusta Digital Properties.

They are the group developing Sibley and King Mills, and they'll be partnering with the University of Maryland Baltimore County to train veterans at the mills.