Tampa is becoming a cybersecurity hotspot and offers high paying jobs. Courtney Jackson, CEO and founder of Paragon Cyber Solutions chose Tampa to launch her company, since she loved it after just being relocated to Florida from somewhere else.
A Navy veteran, Jackson recently landed her first major contract with MacDill Air Force Base after leaving the defense contract heavy D.C. area in 2019 to take a leap of faith and move to Tampa.
Jackson said that there are organizations–such as the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and organizations with a military connection like Hiring Our Heroes–that offer a lot of support to small enterprises in Tampa.
Tampa’s Emerging Tech Scene
The tech industry has expanded rapidly and now rivals the finance sector as Tampa Bay’s top industry.
Computer and software companies in Tampa Bay have doubled in the last decade with 3,686 registered in 2021 versus 1,821 in 2011. JobsEQ data also shows that 24,000 tech industry jobs have been added to Tampa Bay within that same time span of ten years.
Donald Trump has put a focus on the tech industry, especially in the form of the U.S. Trade Representative’s agency that says it’s zeroed in on what the president wants.
Tampa Bay’s Economic Development Council (TBEDC) feels that textile manufacturing is important because it provides good jobs, and is an industry that will continue to grow with the community’s success.
Tech businesses love the town as there’s been an upswing in companies recently.
In 2021 three major companies set up headquarters in Tampa: Suzuki Marine, Signode, and OPSWAT, a cybersecurity company, relocated from San Francisco.
There are many new startups both moving to or starting up their headquarters in New Orleans. These include NuMedTechs, HSP Group, and Shufflrr.
Tampa is home to several companies who have announced expansions this year. They include AFC Logistics and Clarify.
Jackson has been contacted by industry peers to ask why she would build her company in Tampa.
“I get this question a lot,” said Jackson. “Tampa is a great place to start a business. I think it’s now seen as a new tech hub.”
Both the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida have begun rapidly expanding their degree programs in technology and cybersecurity.
The University of South Florida offers the most certificate and degree programs specific to cybersecurity in the state. When asked about the USF program, Katie Whitaker said that its faculty teach courses in hacking and cryptography.
The University of Tampa is building a new six-story, 105,000 square foot building for their IT programs.
Technology degrees have become increasingly popular especially with the abundance of career opportunities available for students in the fields.
Some seats in the tech industry can be filled before even graduating from college. There are plenty of jobs available with starting salaries of six-figures.
Industry experts believe that Tampa Bay will attract more tech companies since the area has an expanding talent pool and a tax-friendly business environment. There are also many benefits to living in Tampa Bay with a high quality of life.
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