2017 National Initiative For Cybersecurity Education

In this guest blog, the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence brings Journeys to the 2017 NICE Conference!

Rear Admiral Kenneth D. Slaght, United States Navy (ret.), co-chair and president of the Cyber Center of Excellence|November 14, 2017

San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) is excited to partner with Journeys to develop an interactive pilot to map cyber education, training and career pathways in San Diego. Please check out the brief video demo of our beta site above, to be launched in early 2018. The collaboration was touted as part of San Diego’s innovative approach to cybersecurity workforce development at the National Initiative For Cybersecurity Education (NICE)’s 2017 Conference in Dayton, Ohio as a template for the nation’s education, government and industry leaders to better align talent supply and demand for this ever-growing industry.
CCOE collaborates across the military and intelligence community, high tech industries, academia and the region’s government, municipalities, utilities and transportation agencies to foster a more secure cyber environment, cultivate the cyber workforce and showcase cutting-edge technology and solutions.

"This ever-growing demand and convergence of both commercial and defense security makes San Diego a hotspot for talent, investment and R&D."-Kenneth Slaght, CCOE


San Diego is home to more than 100 cybersecurity companies that employ 4,230 people in the region and the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR) adds 3,390 employees to San Diego’s cybersecurity industry. In just two years between 2013 and 2015, information security analysts grew by 13.9% per year on average in San Diego, nearly double the national 7% average and employers expect their cybersecurity workforce to grow by an additional 13% in the coming year.* The good news is that not only are these cybersecurity positions in demand, but the pay is 50% higher for network support specialists than the average occupation averaging $75,000 per year (generally not requiring a bachelor’s degree) and the average annual salary for analysts, computer scientists and software developers is $116,000.* This ever-growing demand and convergence of both commercial and defense security makes San Diego a hotspot for talent, investment and R&D. Industry leaders, Qualcomm, ESET, ViaSat, iboss and Northrop Grumman are proud to call San Diego home.

With an annual economic impact of $1.9 billion (equivalent to hosting 4 Super Bowls each year!)*, San Diego’s cybersecurity industry is and will continue to be a talent consumer for many years to come. San Diego’s universities and colleges annually graduate 3,000 students in the computer science and engineering fields and recently launched two new cybersecurity masters programs with industry-driven curriculum at University of San Diego and California State University San Marcos to help feed the pipeline. They also support trailblazing research through resources like the Super Computing Center at UC San Diego and the Advanced Computing Environments Laboratory at San Diego State University.


Not only have we seen considerable growth and workforce sophistication, the cybersecurity consumer is also evolving. The industry has moved significantly toward private sector customers, as the share of firms focused primarily on the commercial market has grown substantially to 47 percent in San Diego*, showing the evolution from tactical to practical applications. This is good news in an age where the Internet of Things (IoT), EMP blasts, mass grid outages, and ransomware attacks are no longer just Marvel storylines.


Since cyber threats have no geographic or industry bounds and the need for qualified cybersecurity workers is increasing, our hope is for San Diego to serve as a template to mobilize other regions. Together we can connect the dots on best practices and grow our nation’s next generation of cyber warriors, defenses and innovations.


About the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence

Rear Admiral Kenneth D. Slaght, United States Navy (ret.) is co-chair and president of the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) – a nonprofit organization that promotes alignment and collaboration within the cyber community. Admiral Slaght is involved with the California Governor’s Military Council, California Cyber Security Task Force and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).

*Source: Cyber Center of Excellence’s 2016 San Diego Cybersecurity Industry Economic Impact Analysis and Workforce Study with research by San Diego Regional EDC, B&W Reseach and CBRE.


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