Once considered the sole concern of computer specialists and IT departments, cybersecurity is quickly becoming a mainstream concern for businesses and organizations everywhere.
Cyberattacks involving hackers and the ransoming of personal information or critical data are just a few examples of how these attacks have hit close to home.
As Kern relates, businesses and organizations can no longer wait to be hacked but must prepare for the inevitable attempt on critical systems.
“And then be ready to recover quickly with minimal disruption,” she said.
And that’s where TCL comes in.
As Kern explains, increased attacks have created a demand for highly skilled specialists, which in effect has led to a massive, nationwide workforce shortage. And TCL, she said, is uniquely positioned to address the shortage.
Having already established a certificate program in cybersecurity, TCL will launch its associate degree program in the field beginning this fall.
The goal is to offer a 60-credit associate of applied science degree with an emphasis in cybersecurity basics, incident response and defense of critical infrastructures and data. Graduates will be prepared to assume roles as security professionals on networking, application development and infrastructure teams.
In addition, many graduates will step into roles as risk analysts helping organizations to analyze their risk while allocating resources to mitigate them. Some may even go on to fill such high paying technical jobs as intrusion detection specialists, penetration testers and network security engineers, Kern said.
Students will also have the option to transfer to a four-year university to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree in the field.
Simply put, the field is much broader now than people first imagined, and the future is bright for those who choose TCL as the place to start their training.
In fact, Kern said filling the demand will have the effect of “spilling over” into other degree and certificate program areas.
“Business managers and accountants are now expected to understand technology risk analysis. Help desk and support analysts, whether hardware or software focused, are in demand and need basic cybersecurity training,” she said, adding that entry level jobs in less technical areas are also plentiful.
The demand for information security is so great that many four-year universities are adding a cyber minor to their degree programs and students with any type of cyber training are being scooped up by employers regardless of their major, Kern said.
“The TCL advantage is our ability to teach real-world, hands-on skills,” she said. “By the time they graduate, TCL students will have built a virtual toolbox of tools and techniques to support the organizations they go to work with.”
Cybersecurity Program Director
Angel Kern is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with more than twenty years of technology and security experience. She was a vice president of IT in banking and has been teaching networking and security for 15 years at both the high school and college level. She also holds Cisco and CompTIA certifications. She earned an MBA from York College of Pennsylvania, an MEd. from Penn State and a B.S. is in Business and Computer Science from Millersville University, in Millersville, Pa.
“Addressing the cyber skills shortage has become my passion. I think I can best contribute if I work on training the next generation of cybersecurity
professionals. I teach students to ethically hack so that they are better prepared to defend their assets.”
Stephen Murray is mayor of the City of Beaufort. He is a third generation Beaufortonian and a Beaufort High School graduate. Mayor Murray owns Kazoobie Kazoos and New South Shirts in Beaufort. He is a past chair of the Beaufort Regional Chamber
of Commerce; founding chairman and current board member of the Beaufort County Economic
Development Corporation; and board
member of the Beaufort Digital Corridor.
“Diversifying our economy is a goal of the city to ensure sustainability in local government services for future generations. Training, certifications, and associates degrees are a necessary part of creating a cybersecurity workforce pipeline, and we’re so thankful for our partners at TCL for their leadership in this critically important community initiative.”