GCCC cybersecurity program teaches vital skills


XENIA — According to the Greene County Career Center’s website, cybersecurity is a career field that integrates into the lives of all people. Smartphones, home security systems, corporate intellectual properties, and industrial processes are some examples of areas where security is vital.

Because of the growing importance of cybersecurity, GCCC launched a new program providing education and certification in that field. In the program, students will be able to thoroughly examine the hardware, software, and programming skills that are needed to be successful in the field once they exit GCCC. If the students choose to go on to a college program, they will have some knowledge to begin with.

“The main focus is learning the fundamentals of cybersecurity,” GCCC teacher Jacob Nelson said. “Keeping companies safe from outside attacks is really important.”

No prerequisites are required to enter GCCC’s cybersecurity program. Starting during the first quarter of the junior year, students take “computer concepts.” They move on to “intro to computer networking” and then “intro to cybersecurity.”

“Cybersecurity looked interesting because it was new for the career center,” said junior Abe Boden, an Ohio Virtual Academy student. “The program will open up more options for schools after graduation and the job market. My plans are to enter the C.I.A. and then the N.S.A.”

GCCC’s cybersecurity program covers topics such as protecting files on computer networks, protecting personal files, and protecting cell phone files.

“During senior year, students must take security plus,” Nelson said. “Security plus provides students with cybersecurity certification that is needed before graduation.

During the summer, a lot of GCCC’s students try to find internships. In the latter part of senior year, students are able to participate in job placement.

“Therefore, students have jobs before they graduate,” Nelson said. “Certification is important. Eventually, students can get high paying jobs while possibly doing college on the side.”

GCCC’s cybersecurity program can lead to some entry-level career opportunities for students.

“If students have security plus certification, positions such as computer technician and IT security technician can be obtained after graduation,” Nelson said.

That’s what got the attention of Xenia High School junior Nancy Palmer.

“The program interested me because I like working with computers,” she said.. “The career center really hyped up the program and I was impressed with the job-shadowing we did and the tour of Sinclair during the application period. This class will open up many high-paying jobs for me, especially if I go on to college. It might even allow me to land a job where I can work from home. My plans are to get an associate’s degree from Sinclair or Clark State then find a job in the information technology field.”



By Darryl McGee

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Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534

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