The computer hacking of major corporations, government offices and banks is a growing threat. There is a solution: Cyber Defense. Companies across the world are expanding and refining their security systems. Volunteer State Community College is responding to the need for Cyber Defense expertise with a new degree concentration starting this fall.
“It impacts every person on the planet, from the home user with email and online banking to the corporate world and government agencies,” said Teresa Moore, associate professor of CIT-Cyber Defense. “This degree will provide students the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to protect information and assets.”
Cyber Defense can be a lucrative career for people with the proper training, and this is especially true because of the extreme shortage of qualified employees. Cisco estimates there are one million open cyber-related positions worldwide. Vol State offers a comprehensive program that combines the foundation of Computer Information Technology (CIT) with specific Cyber Defense courses. The Vol State degree allows a student to enter the workplace or expand their learning. Recent Vol State CIT graduate John Deering is taking his education to the next level by transferring with a full-ride scholarship to the well-respected Cyber Security program at Capitol Technology University.
“In cyber defense you’re looking for someone who is digging around where they’re not supposed to be,” said Deering. “You find them and you can go get them. If I can help protect people from having their lives turned upside down, that’s something I want to do.” Deering was voted Outstanding Vol State graduate for fall 2015.
Students in the Cyber Defense program can also choose to take certification courses, including Security+, Network+, Mobility+, A+, Cisco CCNA and Cisco CCENT. “Certifications provide an employer or prospective employer proof of specific knowledge and skills,” said Moore. “That’s a real bonus for our students headed out into the workplace.”
Cyber Defense work includes elements of computer detective work and relies heavily on problem solving. Students in the Vol State program will work in the specially designed Cyber Lab with network virtualization and other relevant hands-on tools. The lab was funded by a workforce development grant from the Tennessee Governor’s office.
The new Cyber Defense program starts with the fall semester, but students can join in any semester. Vol State has also announced that the associate of science degree in Computer Science is now a Tennessee Transfer Pathway program that connects to bachelor degree programs at several area universities with complete credit transfer. For more information on Cyber Defense visit www.volstate.edu/CyberDefense.
Pictured: John Deering works with instructor Samuel Said in the Vol State Cyber Lab.
For more information on the Cisco employment report cited: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/security/cybersecurity-talent.pdf