ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The RIT Global Cybersecurity Institute is forging new careers while tackling one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Steve Hoover, the Institute’s Executive Director, discussed the technical achievement in our community Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.
“This new fifty-thousand square foot facility on RIT’s campus is helping to increase the university’s capabilities in three areas of cybersecurity: Education, Training and Research,” Hoover said. “Computing security is a hot major right now and we’re growing RIT’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs in that area. We have new training programs for current and aspiring cybersecurity professionals, and we’re doing millions in new research – from areas like deep fakes to forecasting future attacks.”
Hoover said one of the best aspects of the GCI is the new Cyber Range. “It’s a state-of-the-art computer lab where we can simulate large-scale, realistic network attacks. Students and companies can come and immerse themselves in these crucial learning scenarios, so they’re ready for the next real attack.”
The GCI is addressing a critical shortfall. “We have a national need for cybersecurity professionals. Companies actually can’t find enough people to fill these positions. We also have many professionals who have lost their jobs due to COVID. We created a new RIT Cybersecurity Bootcamp program for people to start a career in cybersecurity, without ever having to get a two or four-year degree in cyber. In 15 weeks of virtual training in the program, people will be ready to take on an entry-level cyber job that can pay a salary of more than $70K.”
Hoover said Rochester is the perfect place for the GCI. “We have a lot of talent emerging from our local universities, but we also have a lot of untapped talent in the current workforce. Cybersecurity teams work best when the people are diverse and come from a variety of backgrounds. We have unemployed and underemployed people in Rochester who would make great cybersecurity professionals, if they just get the right training.”
Hoover said the talent pool in Rochester, though not as deep, is on par with the top professionals in California’s Silicon Valley. “We also have a growing list of local companies that are looking to hire cyber professionals. Security Risk Advisors is a firm here in Rochester that is hoping to hire graduates of our Bootcamp. They actually created a generous diversity scholarship for people looking to do the Bootcamp. More than 20 local Rochester employers have already expressed interest in graduates of the Bootcamp program.”
For more information about the RIT Global Cybersecurity Institute visit rit.edu/cybersecurity.
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