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Community Colleges Mobilize to Train Cybersecurity Workers

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Anne Arundel Community College

Credit: Anne Arundel Community College

Some experts project that the Obama administration's cybersecurity push will expand two-year colleges' role in supplying cybersecurity workers to government agencies, but among the challenges they must overcome is the struggle to train and hold onto qualified cybersecurity educators. Obama's proposed 2010 budget includes $64 million in funding for the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Advanced Technological Education program, whose projects include the establishment of a platform for cybersecurity education at community colleges. "The time is really ripe for community colleges' role in this area of technology to expand, be recognized, to get the kind of support that it needs," says NSF program director Corby Hovis. "All of the stars, I think, are aligned for this."

Colleges are offering cybersecurity courses in anticipation that digital forensics and other cyberdefense areas will be a major source of future career opportunities. The NSF-supported CyberWatch consortium was established to build up the information-security workforce, and most of CyberWatch's 27 member colleges offer degree programs in technical assurance. One CyberWatch member, Anne Arundel Community College, developed a curriculum with National Security Agency representatives and other advisers that has been partially or completely adopted by nine colleges in the Washington, D.C., area. Consultant

Daniel G. Wolf has advised companies to look to community college students for their cybersecurity needs, but University of Tulsa computer scientist Sujeet Shenoi says most community college cybersecurity education programs leave a lot to be desired.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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