Oct 17, 201210:46 AMDaily Biz Briefs
UW Tacoma forging jobs, training links in cyber security
Cyber security is an industry ripe for growth in the South Sound – and one with zero current unemployment here, according to the University of Washington Center for Information Assurance and Cyber Security.
Thus, the UW Tacoma campus is combining its new master's degree track in cyber security with its proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to pursue job development, research opportunities and training possibilities there in that industry.
The latest mission sent a team of representatives from the school, including Chancellor Debra Friedman, to the Washington National Guard base at Camp Murray on Monday.
"There's a big demand for workers in that industry, both in the military and the private sector, and Camp Murray is very engaged in cyber security," said Mike Wark, UW Tacoma director of external relations. "So, it's not that we were out there just trying to attract students. We're looking for ways to partner with the military for this program and also be supportive of those types of businesses."
One goal of the meeting was to continue to bolster cyber security employment and internship possibilities at Camp Murray, where, last year, the National Guard opened a $1.5 million Secure Compartmented Information Facility to analyze worldwide battlefield data. Currently, the site employs more than 100 workers, with dozens of future jobs expected when the camp's $35 million information operations readiness center is completed.
"They're looking for ways to build up cyber security and education," Ward said. "There are a lot of cyber security businesses in Tacoma and all throughout the South Sound as a whole. As we connect them together, it will help build strength in that area."
In addition, the mission was an exploratory avenue for research and development possibilities for faculty at the school's Institute of Technology.
The cyber security degree is a good fit for current National Guard members who want to build on their experience or move into the private sector, Wark said. The framework for the new degree, in which a combination of classes will be taught by faculty at the UW Tacoma Institute of Technology and the Milguard School of Business, is on track for approval by the UW Board of Regents by end of this year.
"There are opportunities for our faculty. Students in the program could also benefit from internships at the facility," Wark said. "Plus, there are all kinds of partnerships that can happen as well. And, yes, we are very interested in attracting more students."
UW Tacoma is among the top 15 percent on G.I. Jobs' list of Military Friendly Schools. As the closest public university to JBLM, one of the nation's largest military installations, 10 percent of the school's students are active military members or receive military benefits.