LIVINGSTON – Cybercrimes are in the news on a daily basis. Major corporations, government offices, and banks have been hacked. Many individuals are victims. The 2018 Cyber Security Breaches Survey said that 43 percent of businesses were hit by a cyber security breach in the last 12 months. The solution to cybercrime prevention is cyber defense. Volunteer State Community College is training students in cyber defense expertise through a degree concentration in the field.
Students at Vol State in Livingston have a unique opportunity to complete the program in two years, while working with the same students and faculty members. The new cohort model, starting this fall, makes the process easier for students by laying out exactly what classes students take each semester.
Cyber defense work includes elements of computer detective work and relies heavily on problem solving. Students in the Vol State program work in the specially designed Cyber Lab with network virtualization and other relevant hands-on tools. They will also take classes via video link to other campuses.
“I love working with computers and cyber defense is a way to protect people,” said student Pam Davis of Cookeville. “So many people get hacked. I think it would be great to protect people.”
Cyber defense can be a high-paying career for people with the proper training. Graduates can seek jobs as a cyber defense security analyst with a median salary of more than $76,000. With certifications, experienced analysts can earn $100,000 or more and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent through 2026, much faster than the average occupation.
Vol State offers a comprehensive program that combines the foundation of Computer Information Technology (CIT) with specific cyber defense courses. Students in any of the CITprograms may choose to take certification exams after completing specific courses within their degree program. Those certifications include Security+, Network+, and A+ from CompTIA, as well as the Cisco CCNA and CCENT.
The Vol State degree allows a student to enter the workplace or expand their learning by transferring to a four-year institution. The classes in the Vol State CIT program apply completely to a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. The university courses needed for that bachelor’s degree can be completed online.
People can apply to Vol State now to take part in the cyber defense concentration in Computer Information Technology. Fall classes start on August 26. The application is filled out online and can be found at www.volstate.edu/apply. For more information on cyber defense visit www.volstate.edu/CyberDefense.