- Cybersecurity programs that allow students to earn professional credentials or college credit are becoming increasingly popular at schools nationwide, like Parkville High School in Baltimore, according to EdTech: Focus on K-12.
- One route many of these schools take is to become a Cisco Networking Academy, allowing them to choose from an array of courses to fit a standard template of four total to provide professional or postsecondary credentials to students.
- The push for these programs comes amid a skills shortage projection foreseeing 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the high-demand sector over the next three years. Median income for positions like information security analyst, for example, has risen to $95,510.
One need not even look beyond the school walls or district boundaries to see how important cybersecurity is — education is, after all, one of the most popular targets for hackers. In adopting these programs, schools aren't just contributing to the future cybersecurity workforce at large. They could also be training the future employees who will keep the bevy of sensitive data now stored by schools and districts on on-site servers or in the cloud.
But in the broader sense, cybersecurity programs serve a demand for more career and technical education opportunities that prepare students who may not have the option of attending college for high-demand career fields. As an added bonus, they provide college credit to those who plan on continuing at a postsecondary education or those who might do so later on. And companies like Cisco have already completed much of the groundwork on laying out the courses, making the investment a win-win scenario for students and schools alike.