ANN ARBOR — An Associate in Applied Science degree in cybersecurity has been added to Washtenaw Community College’s roster of programs available to students starting in the fall 2017 semester, college officials announced.
They said the program will introduce students to skills and strategies needed to protect an organization’s computer network and systems, preparing them for an entry-level job in the high-demand field or the ability to transfer to a four-year institution.
The WCC program was designed in coordination with Eastern Michigan University so that graduates could transfer directly into EMU’s Information Assurance & Cyber Defense bachelor’s degree program.
“WCC has a long history of being in the forefront of providing quality education in the field of information technology to residents of Washtenaw County and beyond,” said program advisor Michael Galea, a faculty member in WCC’s computer information systems department. “With this degree, WCC provides the opportunity for our students to pursue either an entry-level position in network security upon completion of the associate degree or transfer to EMU to continue their education.”
The new program was approved by the WCC Board of Trustees at its May 2017 meeting and by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation organization, last week.
In presenting the new program to the Board of Trustees, vice president of instruction Kimberly Hurns said it was created in response to both the high demand for employees in the industry and the increased interest high school students are expressing in the field.
According to a Forbes report, the cybersecurity field is expected to grow from a $75 billion industry in 2015 to a $170 billion industry by 2020 and the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the position of information security analyst to experience an 18-percent job growth increase by 2024.
The new WCC program requires the completion of 63-64 credit hours, with a number of courses available as online classes. Students will learn network security skills while working in Linux operating systems, Cisco infrastructure and perimeter devices, and Microsoft operating systems.
For more information on the WCC associate degree program, visit www.wccnet.edu/academics/programs/view/program/APCSCY/.