CSU expands cybersecurity program as local industry job openings soar

CSU expands cybersecurity program as local industry job openings soar

(WTVM) - Russian hackers dipped into the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win according to CIA administrators; however, leaders with the FBI say there isn't enough evidence to support that claim.

With cybersecurity concerns like this growing, Columbus State University is also seeing growing interest in its new cybersecurity major, which just wrapped up its first semester.

"I don't know when it's going to stop, they keep increasing," said Dr. Wayne Summers, Chair and Professor at CSU's TSYS School of Computer Science, as he described the increasing numbers adding to the already 60-student program.

The new cybersecurity major at Columbus State University is seeing a spike in interest and donations. So far, TSYS for example, has donated more than $2 million to directly help build the new program at CSU, and some say that growth is coming just in time.

"A year or two ago we had the problems with Target, and other companies being targeted. Now we're beginning to see espionage at the highest levels of our government," said Summers.

However, experts say the industry wasn't always so relevant, forcing many new programs to build from the ground up.

"I sort of yearn for the days back in the 80s when we had cybersecurity, and it was sort of whimsical, you would have students and people, just for fun, writing, computer viruses," said Summers.

According to the Cyber Seek website, there are nearly 600 current openings for cybersecurity jobs in Columbus, and Georgia and Alabama have high demands overall.

"Now, people take it very very seriously, because now they're attacking our financial institutions, they're attacking our governments, they're attacking individual's personal data," said Summers.

CSU also plans to open a brand new classroom and lab for cybersecurity students this upcoming March.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.