With half of those age 18-29 saying the federal government should not prosecute Edward Snowden—compared to a majority in every other age group—it stands a surprise that the NSA is turning to current college students for its next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Jenna Lyons of USA Today reports:

NSA targets college students to fill cyber professionals shortage

In response to a shortage of cyber professionals in the U.S., the National Security Administration is reaching out to a younger crowd: college students.

Beginning in 2012, the NSA started its National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program at select universities across the nation to attract students to the field.

On July 14, the agency announced that five new schools would join the program, bringing the number of participating universities to 13. The new recruits include New York University, Towson University in Maryland, The United States Military Academy, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans.

RAND Corporation released a report in June on the nation’s cyber professional shortage, citing the NSA as the largest and leading employer of cyber security professionals.

“For the most part,” the study states, “the NSA makes rather than buys cybersecurity professionals,” adding that 80% of its hires are for entry-level positions.