CyberWatch West supported Colorado Springs Cybersecurity Industry Day on the afternoon of April 10, 2017, by sponsoring a closing reception. More than thirty-five representatives of local academia, industry, and government gathered at the event to discuss ways to work together on cybersecurity internship and apprenticeship programs.
At the reception, Dr. Dan Manson, a CyberWatch West Co-PI, presented on student competitions, such as the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) and CyberPatriot, explaining why students who join high school or college teams are better prepared for future careers in cybersecurity.
Speakers earlier in the day included Dudley Light, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship; Jennifer Jirous-Rapp, State Programs and Pathways Manager, Colorado Department of Education; Dr. Leigh Armistead, president of Peregrine Technical Solutions, Yorktown, VA; Heather Terenzio-McCollester, CEO and co-founder of Techtonic Group and Techtonic Academy; and Brad Revare, Director of Business Partnerships for CareerWise Colorado.
In addition to CyberWatch West, Colorado Springs Cybersecurity Industry Day was sponsored by member school Pikes Peak Community College, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, the Southern Colorado Technology Alliance, and Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation, which provided the venue.
Colorado has one of the larger cybersecurity talent gaps in the nation according to the Cyber Seek website, an online resource created by Burning Glass Technologies, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
Cyber Seek’s interactive heat map rates the concentration of cybersecurity jobs in Colorado Springs “very high” compared to the national average, while the supply of cybersecurity workers is “very low.” It reports that the total employed cybersecurity workforce in the Colorado Springs metropolitan area was 5,789 in 2016, and 3,133 cybersecurity job listings were posted from July 2015 through June 2016.