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UNCG cybersecurity program sees growth as threats arise

The demand for cybersecurity professionals rises as UNCG sees an uptick in cybersecurity students.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Amid the war in Ukraine, there's been a heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks here in the U.S.

With this, there's a growing need for people who are trained in cybersecurity.

"You don't need a lot of skill to launch an attack, but you need a whole lot of skill to stop the attack," Dr. Kane Smith, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management at UNCG said.

The cybersecurity programs at UNCG aim to give students the necessary skills to protect our country's technology. There's currently an undergrad, graduate and post-baccalaureate program.

Dr. Smith created the curriculum just five years ago.

The first class started in 2019 with about 30 students. He said now, they have 100 students just in the cybersecurity class.

Dr. Smith said while their program is growing, they could triple the class sizes over the next ten years, every year and there still wouldn't be enough professionals to meet the current demand.

"We do not have enough cybersecurity professionals. They are literally millions of unfilled jobs in this area. There is simply not enough talent and enough qualified individuals," Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith said the program takes a year and is entirely online. He said students can expect to come out of the program and find a job making $60,000- $90,000 annually. With some experience under your belt, he said you're looking at six figures.

"The salary for cybersecurity especially after you get experience under your belt, sky's the limit," Dr. Smith said.

Several other schools in North Carolina have cybersecurity certificate and degree programs including ECPI, UNC Charlotte and NC State.

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