New cohorts are now being formed
Fresno City College, Cosumnes River College, and Los Angeles Pierce College are collaborating on a statewide pilot for an Information Technology Cybersecurity Certificate of Achievement. It is 100 percent online with zero-cost textbooks. The collaborative program, under the guidance of the State Chancellor’s Office, will prepare students for entry-level cybersecurity jobs in less than one year.
Students will complete the program in a cohort model taking courses from all three colleges. Five cohorts of 45 students each are planned serving a total of 225 students. The first cohort began June 10, 2019. Other cohorts are now being formed and will begin throughout the year. Students can learn more about enrolling into upcoming cohorts at California Virtual Campus: Cybersecurity Professionals Needed.
Cybersecurity professionals are urgently needed with thousands of jobs going unfilled in California and nationally because of the lack of qualified candidates. “I don't think that we can train folks fast enough to go out there and protect us,” said Dr. Jodie Steeley, FCC Director of Distance Education. “If you've ever experienced personally being hacked, it can be catastrophic. Imagine that happening at a college or business, or with your credit card or social security number.”
The program also serves as a strong foundation to continue further training to achieve additional certificates and degrees for higher-wage positions. “With additional certificates, you could end up working your way up to other jobs, for instance, within the government where you’re preventing cyber security on a national level. There is definitely room for growth and advancement if this is the kind of career that you want to choose,” Dr. Steeley adds.
Companies and institutions need qualified individuals who can perform business and operations analysis, risk assessment of processes and systems, expose operational and technological vulnerabilities, identify potential threats, and develop recommendations and technological solutions to strengthen defenses. Entry-level jobs can starts at $40,000 a year, with median earnings in cybersecurity jobs ranging from $75,000 to over $100,000 a year.
Veterans of the armed forces are also encouraged to enroll.