Miami Dade College Receives $2 Million to Expand Cybersecurity Training Award will increase the number of trained professionals prepared to fill critical cybersecurity jobs in Miami

College president and others holding the grant check

MDC has been awarded $2 million from Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity to inspire and prepare more students to pursue careers in cybersecurity. MDC was the top awardee from a group of 24 institutions that received funding through this initiative. 

“We are so grateful for this investment in MDC from the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity to continue expanding opportunities in this growing and critical field,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “MDC offers one of the nation’s top cybersecurity programs and real-world experience at its live-fire cyber range. We couldn’t do this without amazing partners.”  

The College will use the funds to increase the local talent workforce in cybersecurity over the next year and focus on the following key objectives: 

  • Offer affordable, accessible, and flexible training options to both traditional and non-traditional students with access to scholarships for students registered in the Associate in Science in Cybersecurity and stipend to local residents taking upskilling training at MDC’s Cybersecurity Center.  
  • Create meaningful pathways from high school to college, and from college to employment by offering a cyber exploration event for middle school and high school students and facilitating paid internships at local companies for students completing cybersecurity degrees at MDC. 
  • Support Miami’s transformation into a tech hub by bringing and hosting relevant cybersecurity conferences and competitions to Miami. 

This award is part of a $15.6 million initiative to expand cybersecurity and IT training in Florida as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ goal to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. The 24 projects funded through the initiative are expected to train 27,000 Florida students over the next year. 

“We will continue to invest in ensuring Florida’s high schools and colleges offer programs that allow students to immediately enter the workforce with the ability to secure high-paying jobs,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This funding will not only advance the educational opportunities for Florida students seeking employment in this critical field, but will also create a safer and more stable cyberspace for our future generations.”   

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative fields in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow by 33% in the next decade, which is “much faster than average.” With a median pay in six figures, students can get high-paying jobs right out of high school. 

“In Florida, Governor DeSantis has prioritized cybersecurity, providing resources to our institutions to meet the demand of cybersecurity professionals,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz. “Raising awareness and interest in cybersecurity at the K-12 and postsecondary levels is crucial to meet the needs of businesses across Florida and create pathways for students to gain employment with a sustainable salary right after high school.” 

This initiative is built on the state’s CTE audit and implementation of HB 1507 to shift K-12 and postsecondary course offerings in a manner that phases out low-demand, low-wage courses and introduces more high-demand, high-wage courses and stackable credentials and pathways that best align Florida’s K-12 and postsecondary systems to workforce demands. 

For more information about the award and the scholarships available for students interested in cybersecurity, visit: