The University of West Florida is offering veterans an opportunity to train for a career in cybersecurity.
"We are honored to partner with the Regions foundation to make this program available at no cost to eligible veterans,” said Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, associate vice president with the UWF Center for Cybersecurity.
The program is called UWF CyberSuccess. It provides professional training, career development and industry certification to launch or advance a career in cybersecurity.
“We have a great pool of veterans and community of veterans in our region and we want to help them see the opportunities that exist in cybersecurity," added El-Sheikh. "The number of cybersecurity job openings that we have across northwest Florida and south Alabama, and help prepare and connect them with employers.”
Nationwide the industry estimates there will be over three million cybersecurity job openings this year. Dr. E-Sheikh says qualified applicants should know their way around a computer to get started.
“The program is entry level, no cybersecurity background is required, but it would help to have some I.T. or technology background or experience. So we will start at foundational level, however since it is a five month, intensive training program, somebody who has worked in I.T. or technology or (has had) some exposure to cybersecurity would benefit from the program.”
The UWF CyberSuccess program for veterans will begin on March 15 and run through the end of July. A second cohort of applicants will be selected for the 2021-22 school year. The program is sponsored by a $175,000 commitment from Regions Bank.
“We have been, at UWF, through President Saunders’ leadership, long been working on workforce development as a niche for UWF and expanding our programs and our initiative and our national leadership in workforce development for cybersecurity," said El-Sheikh. "And so I think Regions Foundation , through their mission and goals focused on workforce and economic development, came to us and it was a partnership to really develop the program.”
Applications are being accepted through Wednesday, March 10. Veterans who apply should be legal U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have a high school diploma or equivalent and, as El-Sheikh mentioned, have some I.T. or cybersecurity experience. You can find more information here.