/ Modified may 30, 2024 7:18 p.m.

White House National Cyber Director visits Pima Community College

PCC reports an 83% increase in enrollment in their cybersecurity programs.

coker-pcc-1 National Cyber Director Harry Coker, Jr is interviewed at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
Hannah Cree, AZPM

National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr., visited Pima Community College’s East Campus on Thursday to talk to students about the importance of strengthening the cybersecurity economy.

Coker said there are at least 500,000 unfilled jobs in the cybersecurity field across the country, despite the rising threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in the US.

“While slightly more than 21,000 Arizonans are currently employed in cyber careers; last year, we had 9,200 open cybersecurity jobs in Arizona. And almost 1,000 of those open jobs are here in the Tucson region,” he said.

Coker reports his office’s biggest cyber concerns involve attacks on the supply chain and critical infrastructure. Programs like Pima Community College are helping to fill in those workforce gaps and strengthen national security, he said.

“Oftentimes, we haven’t reached out sufficiently and made people aware of the opportunities for good paying cyber jobs…we’re under constant threat from our adversaries. So we need all of America’s talent to help solve America’s challenges on the cyber front.”

Representatives for Pima Community College said enrollment in their cybersecurity program has increased 83% in the last five years with over 5,000 students enrolled.

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