University of San Diego, Zovio partner to fill cybersecurity talent shortage

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The strategic partnership aims to fill the high in-demand skills gap with its programme graduate in San Diego and beyond. 

By U2B Staff 

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There will be some 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in the jobs market by 2021, recent estimates say, as cybercrime rates continue to outpace global talent supply.

This is nearly double the number predicted for the same period just a couple of years ago, a major concern for businesses as they grapple with the need to innovate and at the same time, improve data security.

Without the right infrastructure and talent in place, organisations are left vulnerable to attacks, causing them to fall behind or struggle for survival in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“Until we can rectify the quality of education and training that our new cyber experts receive, we will continue to be outpaced by the Black Hats,” says Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO at Herjavec Group, a Managed Security Services Provider with offices around the world.

But whose responsibility is it to fix this talent crisis–the world’s universities or the industry itself? The answer is both. And that’s where university-business partnerships come in.


In the US, edtech services firm Zovio last week announced that Fullstack Academy, one of the country’s longest-running and most successful technology bootcamps, has partnered the University of San Diego (USD) to build a cybersecurity talent pipeline for San Diego and beyond.

The programme will run 17 weeks full time or 26 weeks part-time (for adult learners), and will teach cybersecurity skills to a student cohort that will help fill the area’s over 4,000 job vacancies in cybersecurity.

“Partnering with USD, which has one of the top engineering schools and a Center for CyberSecurity Engineering and Technology, will make some of the country’s leading cybersecurity resources available to students looking to take the next step in their career,” said Nimit Maru, a co-founder of the academy.

David Yang, also a co-founder, said “total immersion training” such as that offered by the bootcamp was not only the fastest but the most effective way to prepare learners to fight the global epidemic of cybercrime.

“With more than 36,600 cyber jobs available nationwide, there has never been a better time to start a career in cybersecurity through Fullstack Academy and USD,” he added.

Yang hit the nail on the head with his remark–San Diego’s rapidly growing cybersecurity industry is worth an annual US$2.37 billion, according to figures from the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

For cybersecurity graduates entering the job market, high-paying opportunities abound, with even entry-level positions paying as much as US$80,000 annually.


Commenting on the partnership, USD Director of Professional and Public Programs Andy Drotos said:

“Fullstack Academy has been a leader in technology bootcamps for years, and we’re excited to bring their skilled training to USD. With a skills gap this large for a field that is becoming increasingly essential in today’s digital environment, we chose to partner with the top program in the country, and the official cyber bootcamp of New York City, to train talented bootcamp graduates for careers right here in San Diego.”

The bootcamp will launch in 2020.