SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new program at the University of San Diego will give students a crash course in cybersecurity, one of the fastest-growing fields in the region.
USD partnered with online education company Fullstack to offer the 26-week course. They say people who take it will be ready to apply for the thousands of available jobs that companies in San Diego are having a hard time filling.
"When they're done, they could go into software engineering, software development, web development, cybersecurity," says Andy Drotos, USD's Director of Professional and Public Programs. "There's a long list of jobs available in all of those areas."
According to a 2019 study by the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence, there are more than 150 cybersecurity firms across San Diego. They create 8,450 jobs -- that's an 11% jump from 2016. And the average salary in the field is around $85,000 per year.
But, industry experts say they have a hard time finding qualified candidates to fill those jobs. Some estimate there are around 4,000 open positions in the cybersecurity field.
"There's a demand for staff who have previous work experience and can apply that to new roles," says Andy Haas, a Chief Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton. He says his company is always looking for people to fill cybersecurity roles.
"It really is a growing need across companies, across industries here in the region," says Haas.
The boot camp-style course at USD has classes that are taken online, twice a week. There's also a Saturday class that meets both in-person and online. Drotos says it's perfect for people looking to make a career change.
"If you have an affinity for technology, or you have an interest, you don't need a degree," he says. "You get the benefit of having a job that's going to be around for a while."
The class starts in February. Anyone interested can ask for more information here.