TAMPA, Fla. — Tech companies in the Tampa Bay area are reporting an urgent need for professionals skilled in cybersecurity, cloud and business intelligence and reporting and database management, according to Robert Half, a Tampa Staffing and Recruitment agency.
Now, hiring firms are encouraging those considering a career change to consider a job in tech.
The number-one strategic priority for IT managers is maintaining security of IT systems and safeguarding company information, according to Mike Clemens with Robert Half.
"Whatever you want to do in IT, there's gonna be a need for it and there's gonna be a demand for it and just exponentially, the salaries on those keep increasing," Clemens said.
This comes as students at Lakewood High School in Pinellas County are being trained in all forms of information technology, including robotics, coding, fixing computers and more. Some are even doing programming for Pinellas County Schools.
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One student tells ABC Action News she feels more prepared for the workforce as a result.
"I personally hope to become a software engineer one day," she said. "This program really helps like get me involved into that sort of work already at such an early age."
Chris Borg is the IT Director for Lakewood High School and has taught there for more than a decade. He said his students are learning skills that are in demand and it will definitely pay off in the long run.
"They could write their own ticket," Borg said. "They can go where they want to go. They can go to any college."
This comes as the University of South Florida is now offering an online Master's Degree in Cybersecurity.
The master's in cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary 30- to 33-credit hour program offered by the USF Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Behavioral and Community Sciences; and Business and Engineering, according to USF.
The Cyber-Intelligence, Digital Forensics and Information Assurance concentrations can be completed fully online. Most courses are delivered in an eight-week format.