San Diego is positioning itself to be a global leader in cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is responsible for 7,620 direct jobs and 16,580 total jobs impacted in San Diego, according to a Cybersecurity Impact Study.
The demand for security online is only going to grow over time, according Richard Quinones, Vice President of State, Local Education at iboss Cybersecurity.
“If you use your credit card, you’re vulnerable. Big data has now become a big vulnerability,” Quinones said.
The cybersecurity company has offices around the world and its headquarters in San Diego. It was founded by San Diego natives and twin brothers Peter and Paul Martini in 2003.
In October 2015, iboss completed a new $14 million office in Campus Point.
Quinones said the brothers went to UC San Diego and San Diego State University, and wanted to stay close to home because talent coming out of the local universities is strong.
“It just made a great deal of sense to recruit from here because of the excellence in education,” Quinones said.
Education and research in cybersecurity is growing at local schools.
Right now, San Diego’s universities and colleges graduate 3,000 students annually with computer science and engineering degrees, according to an economic impact analysis and workforce study.
Recently Cal State San Marcos and the University of San Diego (USD) also launched two masters programs in cybersecurity.
Winnie Callahan is the Director for the Center of Cybersecurity, Engineering and Technology at USD. She said the layman is finally understanding that data breaches can impact everyone.
“Hospitals, police departments around the country – this is a big problem,” she said.
USD’s masters program is only a year old. In its inaugural year, there were 17 students enrolled in the program—now there are over 100 students, with more on the wait list.
Callahan said students with a cybersecurity masters degree in engineering can expect to add $50,000 to their annual salary because the demand is so high.
“The San Diego area is becoming well known as an incubator for companies in the IT space and certainly cybersecurity is one of those areas where there is great emphasis,” Callahan said.