Job prospects for Spokane-area students pursuing careers in cybersecurity got even better this week as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated the Spokane Falls Community College’s (SFCC) cybersecurity program a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
This official designation recognizes SFCC's cyber defense programs as meeting and exceeding program criteria aimed at serving the nation in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.
“Students who go through programs with this federal designation have a significant advantage in securing jobs because employers know how rigorous the requirements are,” said SFCC President Kimberlee Messina. “We are proud to offer this excellent program and to be a part of training people who will protect vital technology systems.”
Federal Fact Sheet on National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.
SFCC is one of only eight colleges in Washington State and the one of two west of the Cascades to have received this federal designation. Students can enroll in the SFCC programs throughout the year and enrollment is underway now for Winter Quarter.
Lead instructor Brady Nielsen was in Phoenix for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) conference this week to receive the honor from federal officials.
“Center of Excellence designation opens the door to numerous job and scholarship opportunities that are available only to students studying at Center of Excellence institutions,” Nielsen said. “We look forward to continuing to train future information security professionals.”
SFCC offers a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degree in cybersecurity, and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in information technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity. Additionally, students have access to three separate one quarter certificate programs in cyber defense, and a year-long certificate program in computer forensics/network security.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the demand for information security analysts will grow 28 percent between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for other occupations. In the U.S. alone, nearly a half million workers would be needed to fill the shortage.
In addition to its regular cybersecurity courses, SFCC also engages students in the National Cyber League, a collegiate cyber security competition and will be hosting educational programs for high school students investigating this career path.
SFCC Cybersecurity Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) - Cybersecurity
Associate in Applied Science (AAS) - Information Technology with a Cybersecurity emphasis
Certificate - Computer Forensics/Network Security
Certificate - Basic Cyber Defense
Certificate - Intermediate Cyber Defense
Certificate - Advanced Cyber Defense