California is Business Facilities’ top-ranked state among Cybersecurity Jobs Leaders and New York heads the leaderboard in Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones), two new high-tech rankings categories appearing in the magazine’s 14th Annual Rankings Report, released today.
“Cybersecurity is without a doubt the hottest emerging growth sector in the United States, the nation which by far has the greatest security challenges to meet, including protecting systems vital to national defense, the financial sector, the electric grid and our elections,” BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said.
Rogers noted that the cybersecurity industry already has created a million jobs in the U.S., but he called this total “a number that exposes the challenges we need to meet as well as the explosive growth of the cyber sector.”
“There currently are an estimated 768,000 workers employed in cybersecurity, but there also are more than 300,000 cyber jobs that are going unfilled due to a lack of highly skilled workers with the specific STEM skills needed for cybersecurity work,” he said.
California, birthplace of Silicon Valley, was well-positioned to grab the pole position in the cyber jobs race. Second-place Virginia also has a solid foundation to build upon; VA is home to the nation’s highest concentration of data centers. Texas, New York and Florida rounded out the top five in BF’s cybersecurity jobs category.
BF also unveiled its first state ranking for unmanned aerial systems (a.k.a. drones). Top-ranked New York was followed in the top five by Nevada, Virginia, Texas and North Dakota, respectively.
Last fall, officials in New York launched the first portion of what is planned as the first 50-mile air corridor in the nation where drones can safely fly beyond the line of sight (known as “over the horizon”) for testing and development. The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) officially activated the corridor by flying a manned aircraft and a small drone together in airspace over and around Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY. The corridor is being expanded this year, with $30 million in state funding, into a 50-mile-long airspace stretching from Rome to Syracuse. Officials said construction of the full network of sensors and radars is expected to start by the third quarter of 2018.
Nevada, No. 2 in BF’s new drone category, has been an FAA test site for UAS since the end of 2013 (Nevada was the only test site in the program to encompass an entire state). Earlier this year, NV applied for the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which aims to enable the deployment of drones in populated areas.
The states leading in UAS development are laying the groundwork (or, more accurately, preparing the U.S. airspace) for the first wave of commercial UAS enterprises.
“Ready or not, the Drone Age has arrived,” Rogers said. “By 2020, there may be as many as 10,000 commercial (and law enforcement) drones quietly zipping about above our heads.”
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.