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CSU Long Beach Adds Cybersecurity Program

California State University-Long Beach has introduced a new minor in cybersecurity for students in a bid to better prepare graduates for an estimated 10,000 available jobs in the segment of the tech industry across Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Cybersecurity data aggregator CyberSeek estimates that there are more than 300,000 jobs available in the field nationally.

Students with a 2.0 GPA or above and junior standing are eligible for the course of study, which was announced July 18 and includes a journalism class on internet politics as well as classes in computer forensics, network security and information systems. Cal State Long Beach’s Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science manages the program. The idea for the minor came from the CIO/CEO Cybersecurity Forum, a cybersecurity group that meets with representatives of the school regularly to discuss industry trends.

“Everyone talks about this being a hot area,” said CSU Long Beach professor Mehrdad Aliasgari, a computer security expert and chief advisor for the minor. “At industry meetings we had, they said they needed more talent.”

CyberSeek estimates that for each cybersecurity job opening there are 2.5 eligible cybersecurity workers, while the national average is 6.5 workers per job opening in the field.

California employs more than 85,000 workers in the cybersecurity field as of March 2018, according to CyberSeek.

Tech Talent Growth

The sixth annual “Surveying Tech Talent in North America” report from downtown-based real estate firm CBRE Group Inc. finds that the tech sector in Los Angeles is growing faster than any other market in the nation in terms of increases in its qualified workforce.

The report ranks Los Angeles second on a list of 10 U.S. and Canadian tech labor markets, behind Ottawa, Canada.

Colleges and universities in the Los Angeles awarded the third-most undergraduate technology degrees – some 9,000 in 2016 – behind New York and Washington D.C., according to CBRE’s study.

CBRE noted Los Angeles produces a high volume of qualified tech workers but does a poor job of accommodating them here, There were 38,359 technology degrees awarded by L.A.-area schools from 2012 through 2017, the report found, but only an estimated 13,240 tech jobs available in the region during that period.

The report also found salaries for software engineers in Los Angeles and Orange County average $115,000 per year. The cost of office space in L.A. County averages $38 per square foot placing it fourth on the CBRE’s list of top ten most expensive office rent markets.

CBRE Vice Chairman Jeff Pion said in a statement that Los Angeles’ market is rapidly expanding due to the widespread desire for original content and streaming media.

“The region’s abundance of diverse universities and colleges, its talented labor pool, and amazing weather coupled with its ‘So Cal’ lifestyle make it an attractive place for companies to locate,” Pion said.

Echoes at LMU

Loyola Marymount University recently selected the Echo360 video learning platform from Virginia-based Echo360 Inc. to add to more than 100 of its classrooms. The new cloud-based software gives students access to video lectures pre-recorded by their professors, as well as other content, such syllabi and notes.

LMU director of educational technology support Crista Copp called the program reliable and easy to use.

“Given the ubiquity of technology in the lives of today’s faculty and students, it’s becoming increasingly important that colleges and universities not only prioritize the reliability of the technology they choose, but also ensure that it’s rooted in academically-sound instructional practices that will resonate with your faculty and students,” Copp said in a statement

Echo360 was created to serve what it calls “non-traditional” learners, who use laptops or mobile devices outside the classroom and while studying.

Staff Shake-Ups

The last two weeks brought new hires in several area companies, including scooter outfit Bird Rides Inc., which announced on July 25 that Taylor Rose would join as director of people. Rose previously served as human resources manager for Venice-based flower deliverer Bouqs Co. Rose will handle Bird’s internal human relations as well as recruiting.

Gasbuddy Organization Inc. is expanding to Los Angeles from its headquarters in Boston, and bringing with it new hire Chad Beasley to serve as head of west coast advertising sales. Beasley will be based in Los Angeles and responsible for generating new revenue for the company. Beasley previously served as vice president of sales for Hearst Communications Inc.’s Jumpstart Automotive Media.

Law firm DLA Piper hired Eric Hagan to join its technology and intellectual property practice as a partner in Los Angeles. Hagan was partner at McDermott Will and Emery for 11 years.

Staff reporter Samson Amore can be reached at samore@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8335.

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