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UNF Launching Cybersecurity Program As Industry Expected To Grow 10% By 2023

Person typing at a computer
Bill Bortzfield

There are more than 3,000 open cybersecurity jobs in Northeast Florida, according to Edythe M. Abdullah, Dean of UNF's Division of Continuing Education.

That’s prompted the university to launch a 26-week career-readiness program in partnership with Fullstack Academy.

“The [cybersecurity] market in Jacksonville is exploding,” Abdullah told WJCT News, adding she expects there will be a 10% increase in demand in Northeast Florida by 2023.

The non-credit program will launch in June and costs $11,910 with tuition discounts and scholarship opportunities available.

“Those range from $500 for a U.S. student or alumni, or staff member for that matter, up to $2,000 scholarships for individuals in the military,” said Abdullah, adding that veterans are “probably one of our biggest target audiences for this program.”

A news release from UNF and Fullstack said there are approximately 75,000 active-duty, reserve and civilian personnel that make up about 14% of Northeast Florida’s workforce.

The program is aimed at helping students qualify for entry-level positions in cybersecurity, which means  protecting systems, networks and programs from digital attacks.

“The salaries are about 15% higher than the average salaries in Jacksonville. So that comes to about $70,000 a year,” said Abdullah.

The university points to Jacksonville companies like CSX, FIS and Fidelity National Financial that currently have openings in the field.

“You could work on networks, you can work on applications, you can work with private companies to protect their networks and their information,” Abdullah said.

Applicants will be given an assessment that lasts about 45 minutes to help them determine if they have the aptitude to successfully complete the program.

Students will meet online Monday and Wednesday nights. On Saturdays they meet in a traditional classroom setting at the university’s Downtown Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at 112 W. Adams St.

The program marks the second collaboration between UNF and Fullstack, a technology school with campuses in Chicago and New York. A part-time coding bootcamp is also offered by the two institutions.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.