May 1, 2024 - News

ReliaQuest, USF put Tampa students on the cybersecurity frontlines

Illustration of a location pin with binary code

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The next generation of cybersecurity experts is being made in Tampa.

Why it matters: They don't just defend private companies from hackers. The job ranges from stopping election disinformation and scammers to protecting national security and information privacy.

Driving the news: 44 students graduated last week from ReliaQuest Labs, a collaboration between the University of South Florida and the Tampa-based global cybersecurity firm.

  • 34 of those students were just offered jobs at the company.

State of play: The program has graduated more than 300 students over the past six years. Those who don't join ReliaQuest usually get jobs at other cybersecurity companies, spokesperson Kim Hill told Axios.

  • "Cybersecurity is a team sport," Hill said. "They're on the team whether they come here or not. We're all after the same mission."

Zoom in: Over six weeks, students learn the nuances of threat analysis by using GreyMatter, the same technology ReliaQuest's experts use to protect clients like Cox, the NBA and AAA.

What they're saying: Tyler Carrichner, a USF grad student, told Axios that going into the program, he was afraid of falling behind because he didn't know everything. He'll start at ReliaQuest next week.

  • "It's not about what you know, it's about what to do when you don't know."

Go Deeper: Decode key cybersecurity news and insights biweekly with Axios Codebook's Sam Sabin.

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