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Board of Governors Hosts Panel with Business Leaders in Information Technology and Cybersecurity

ST. PETERSBURG — Business leaders from Florida’s information technology and cybersecurity industries, critical fields for Florida’s economy, joined the Board of Governors to discuss future talent needs and how the State University System can address those needs.

The Board was joined by

  • Mr. Bobby George, Senior VP and Chief Digital Officer at Carrier Global Corp.
  • Mr. Ashish Gupta, VP-IT & Chief Information Officer at Next Era Energy
  • Mr. John Megally, Region President, East at KForce

Florida is home to more than 34,000 high-tech companies, and the IT workforce has become integral to every facet of business and government. As a result, the System’s degree productivity in IT/Cyber has grown along with the industry, with the number of graduates increasing by 29% System-wide over the last five years.

“Information technology and cybersecurity play a vital role in Florida’s businesses, large or small,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System. “As the demand for these programs grows, it is paramount that we as a System continue to hear from business leaders such as Mr. George, Mr. Gupta, and Mr. Megally as to how we can continue to meet their needs.  I sincerely thank them for joining us today.”

All 12 SUS institutions offer degree programs that feed into the information technology sector.  These include options such as artificial intelligence, informatics, computer science, data modeling, computer engineering, cyber/electronic operations and warfare, data science, business analytics, cyber/computer forensics, and management information systems. The System produced over 10,400 graduates in 2019-20 with the potential to gain employment in the IT industry. This total included over 2,000 computer and information sciences majors and more than 1,000 information technology majors.

“The demand for information technology (IT) professionals has grown rapidly in the last decade.  As the technology landscape continues to evolve, there is an increasing need for IT personnel to not only have good technical skills, but also knowledge on how to make business processes more efficient, with the use of technology, and communicate effectively to business stakeholders.  These requirements call for an educated workforce, which is vital to strategic efforts across all industries,” said, Ashish Gupta, VP & CIO of NextEra Energy, Inc.

Additionally, Florida’s public universities have been recognized by rankings organizations for excellence in IT-related academic programs. For example, US News & World Report recognized Florida State University as being ranked #2 among public institutions for its online graduate Information Technology program and #11 among public institutions for its online MBA in Business Analytics. US News also recognized the University of Florida as having the #12 graduate Computer Engineering program and the #18 best undergraduate Computer Engineering program.

“We are very excited to collaborate with business executives and our educational partners to help educate and attract more IT talent and organizations to Florida,” said John Megally, Region President, East at Kforce”


Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The System has 12 universities and more than 420,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive. For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.