UCC Creates Path to Virtual Job Security

CIS Classroom

College begins Cybersecurity program this fall.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – Umpqua Community College (UCC) is opening the cyber flood gates by creating a path for those interested in actual and virtual job security. UCC recently joined forces with Mt. Hood Community College to take on hackers—state and nationwide—by offering a two-year degree in Cybersecurity.

“UCC is on the verge of graduating students who will be ready to fill thousands of jobs nationwide,” John Blackwood, UCC’s Computer Information Systems instructor, said. “Oregon alone has over 1,000 cybersecurity positions waiting for trained people to fill them.”

CIS infographic of wagesCybersecurity is a hands-on, highly-interactive program. It took Blackwood two years to create it after researching hundreds of schools across the country. He says jobs in the field can grow into $175,000 a year careers.

Here is how the program is designed to work: UCC will train computer geniuses—also known as white hat hackers (the good guys)—who defend against gray and black hat hackers (bad guys) who try and worm their way into your everyday life. Each year, black hat hackers cost consumers and companies between $375 and $575 billion. This number is expected to grow as online information stealing expands with increased internet use.

“Cybersecurity graduates have two main jobs; preventing a hack and responding and repelling a hacker once they get into a network,” Blackwood said. “Along with learning how to ethically hack into computers and networks, students will also learn theory. This program is filled with a lot of real-life scenarios and hands-on training.”

“I’m excited about [this program] because it is something new,” Ramsie Cooley, a first-year Computer Information Systems student, said. “Cybersecurity will make things more secure by stopping problems before they start.”

UCC’s newest program is on the cutting edge of technology. There are only four community colleges in the country that offer two-year degrees in cybersecurity. Job experts say employment in this area is expected to grow nearly 20 percent over the next few years. To get started or to learn more, check out umpqua.edu/cybersecurity.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.


John Blackwood - Contact
Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems

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