ORLANDO, Fla. —  There are more than 13,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in Florida, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It’s a growing field that every industry relies on, but there is a shortage of talent to work in cybersecurity.

  • UCF, Lockheed Martin addressing shortage of cybersecurity workers
  • Lockheed Martin Cyber Innovation Lab a "game-changer," says student
  • Company hires more grads from UCF than any other university in US

The University of Central Florida joined forces with defense company Lockheed Martin to prepare workers and meet the demand.

Cybersecurity Fellow at Lockheed Martin, Tom Plummer, said the global security and aerospace company has hundreds of job openings in cyber security, many in Central Florida, and the industry is booming.

“This is not a need that will go away ever. As long as we have computers and technology, there are going to be people who are trying to exploit it to their advantage,” he said. “People out there trying to do bad things are always advancing their craft, so we are always advancing our craft, and we are learning new tools and skills every single day.”

Staying ahead of the game and developing a pipeline of talent lead them to partner with UCF. The Lockheed Martin Cyber Innovation Lab opened on campus last February, and you can frequently find UCF junior Charlton Trezevant there. 

“Cyber security has been a passion of mine for most of my life now,” he said.

He said student-run cyber-defense club Hack@UCF uses the space for workshops and training.

According to Trezevant, “It has done a huge amount to help me advance my own career, and that is another aspect of why I am so interested in supporting the club because I know that it does that for other people as well.”

The lab is a space for them to prepare for national cyber defense competitions. It’s increased awareness of cyber security within the student body and increased their visibility outside of the university.

“The cyber-lab has been a real game changer for us, not just in terms of what we can do as a club in our day to day operations, but also in particular within the university,” Trezevant said.

Lockheed Martin said so far, it is working. They hire more grads from UCF than any other university in the country. They provide paid work experience to about 650 students each year, and about 60 percent of them are offered full-time jobs.

“Lockheed Martin sees this as a great opportunity to bring in students that will have experience beyond just their curriculum to be able to do things and be more prepared for work when they start,” said Plummer.

The lab on campus is just the beginning of a 20-year partnership between Lockheed Martin and UCF. Local employers hosted a job fair in the lab to celebrate the one year anniversary of it. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for information security analysts will grow 28 percent by 2026.