Skilled to Work: Cybersecurity Program at Ogeechee Tech

Posted on Jul 16, 2020 at 8:08 AM

Skilled to Work: Cybersecurity program at Ogeechee Tech

By Dal Cannady | July 14, 2020 at 6:48 PM EDT - Updated July 14 at 7:01 PM

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - We hear about companies, even governments, hacked and held hostage online and forced to pay ransom. In Georgia, some schools are teaching students how to help combat this.

Instructor Terry Hand says cybercrime hasn't shut down due to the pandemic.

“Businesses are experiencing attacks, ransomware attacks, phishing scams, social engineering attacks, it’s at epic proportions,” Hand said.

He's been teaching in Ogeechee Technical College's cybercrime analyst program (Cybersecurity) since it started a little over a year ago. The school was among the first wave of a dozen or so in Georgia to add a program to meet the growing demand.

“Pull up any job website and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs listed,” Hand said.

Hand says companies everywhere are hiring analysts to either find the hackers and undo what they've done or bolster the company's site who people can't hack it in the first place.

Hand has added certifications that allow the college to offer more IT and cybercrime courses. The college is in the middle of a lab reboot with 25 new computers to stay up on cybercrime features and adding more space to the lab.

While some instructors face a challenge with no students in front of them, Hand hasn't slowed a step.

“We have some great companies out there, like Test Out and Mind Tap, that provide us with incredible software that makes you almost feel like you’re in the lab even if you’re at home,” Hand said. “So, I’m still doing lectures like it’s an actual classroom. I can project what’s on my screen to their screen. They have the software to do labs. It’s almost like we’re together, in the room together.”

Students can complete the program in 18 to 24 months if they’re in school full-time. But they also offer night and weekend courses as well for those who want to be Skilled to Work for the future.

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