State Farm Insurance is giving Illinois State University $3 million to grow the cybersecurity program. The money will create an endowed professorship in the School of Information Technology.
School of Information Technology Assistant Director Glen Sagers said ISU is poised to take advantage of one of the hottest areas in workforce growth.
"We're the first university in Illinois to have a cyber-security major. There are some other universities that have similar programs, but none with a formal major on the general topic. We're seeing great demand from students and parents," said Sagers.
The money from State Farm will also improve the cybersecurity program and rehab some space on campus. Sagers said it will allow the university to have a named chair in I-T to coordinate curriculum.
"Hardly a day goes by that we don't see some cyber-attack in the news. That crime is definitely on the upswing and what we need is people to be there to put in the safeguards to prevent it as well as people to do things like forensics to catch people who have done this after the fact," said Sagers.
"The Bloomington based company realizes the growing need for talented students to meet the challenges of online security in the 21st century," said State Farm Associate Vice President Kellie Clapper.
The State Farm Chair in Cyber-security will help students succeed in a technology driven world," said ISU President Larry Dietz.
Sagers said the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the profession is among the fastest growing areas of of the workforce in the country.