GVL Tech Corner: Training tomorrow’s cybersecurity experts

If you scrambled to find gas during the Colonial Pipeline shutdown last year, or you’ve had to replace your debit card when someone else made expensive purchases with it, or your social media contacts want to know why you’re sending friend requests again — you’re not alone.

cyberattacks — global in scope, but usually smaller in size — are increasing in frequency and affecting all of us. Experts warn the rate of attacks will only continue to climb.

Companies, organizations, and rely on cybersecurity technicians to protect them — and us — from the disruption and damage these attacks cause. But there aren’t enough of these skilled professionals to do the job, and that shortage presents a danger every bit as real as the attacks themselves.

the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries, with employment of information security analysts projected to grow 33% between now and 2030 and a projected 16,300 new openings each year that come with an average salary of $103,590.

Preparing for one of these critical jobs doesn’t have to take four years (or more). Students completing Greenville Technical College’s associate degree in computer technology with a concentration in cybersecurity (once known as “network security”) are equipped with a broad background in computer and communication skills and ready to springboard into intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs.

A 33-credit hour cybersecurity certificate offers an even faster track. This program, one of the earliest offerings at the two-year college level in the state when introduced in 2020, was added at the recommendation of industry partners and advisory committee members, several who head up security programs with local firms.

Right now, 121 Greenville Tech students are enrolled in the cybersecurity certificate program where they’re learning how to defend computer systems, networks, programs, and databases against cyber-attacks while gaining knowledge of defensive tools, attack simulations, and damage control and repair. Graduates typically land jobs as security analysts or security administrators who specialize in network vulnerability, security auditing, or data forensics.

GVL Tech Corner is a monthly submitted column highlighting Greenville Technical College’s latest news, academic achievements, trends and topics.

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