Cybersecurity and information-technology-related positions in the Augusta Metro area and Fort Gordon contribute more than $1 billion in salary alone to the local economy, according to the 2018 Cybersecurity Workforce Study recently released by Augusta University’s Cyber Institute and Master in Public Administration program.
“The economic impact of these high paying professionals is why we’re calling the cybersecurity growth in the Augusta metro area, a tsunami,” said Dr. William Hatcher, director of the MPA program, who helped conduct the study.
From 2016 to 2017, cybersecurity and IT-related positions in the Augusta metro area and Fort Gordon grew by 16 percent, from 12,716 to 14,765 positions. The cyber workforce in 2017 comprised 6 percent of the total workforce in the area, up from 5.3 percent the year before. This rapid growth is likely to continue, according to the study.
A total of 3,330 cybersecurity and IT-related positions are outside Fort Gordon, and the mean salary for these positions in 2017 was $70,609. They are estimated to contribute $235 million in salary to the local economy.
To collect the data for this study, Cyber Institute and MPA researchers surveyed local businesses, nonprofits and public agencies about their cybersecurity needs. They found that employers want cybersecurity professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree.
“Our current bachelor’s degrees in computer science and information technology along with our cyber defender and advanced cyber defender certificates play a significant role in filling the needs of local businesses,” said Dr. Mark Harris, director of graduate studies in information security management, who also helped conduct the study. “Our students are learning the latest skills that will help them be ready for demanding jobs locally and worldwide. We have a strong curriculum at AU, as evidenced by our 9 Department of Defense scholarship winners selected out of 50 nationwide.”