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New UCF Cyber Innovation Lab to Train for Tech Security Jobs

David Maria, UCF’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Club’s president, showcases some
of the Lockheed Martin Cyber Innovation Lab’s technology and capabilities it
will bring to students as they prepare for competitions and future careers.

A Cyber Innovation Lab that opened in mid-February on the University of Central Florida campus will help meet a growing local and national need for cybersecurity talent. Lockheed Martin donated $1.5 million toward the lab to fund software and technology support, and company employees will provide cyber training and professional mentoring to engineering students.

The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting, a demonstration by UCF’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Club (Hack@UCF) and a panel discussion with U.S. military and Lockheed Martin cyber experts about technology trends and how students can prepare for a career in the growing field.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology estimates there are more than 13,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in Florida alone. That trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting jobs for information security analysts will grow 28 percent by 2026.

The 970-square-foot lab is located in UCF’s Engineering I building and will serve as a learning hub for more than 350 students participating in cyber programs at UCF. Hack@UCF, a four-time national champion in cyber competitions, will use the lab as its primary practice center.

In Orlando, Lockheed Martin employs approximately 2,500 UCF graduates, with plans to expand its cyber workforce. The company’s local Cyber Solutions business grew 400 percent over the past five years.

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