UTC announces new Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate Training Program

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – UTC is now offering a Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate Training program to help combat the growing need for cybersecurity job placement.

This new workforce development program is completely online and it comes at no cost to participants.

Officials say there is a major global shortage of trained personnel for cybersecurity jobs, which is very concerning since there is no shortage of cyber criminals. 

“In April of 2021 it was estimated that there is a 3 million global shortage. In the US alone over 460,000 open positions. In the state of Tennessee over 6,700 positions in cybersecurity are open with 290 of those are in the Chattanooga and northern Georgia area,” says UTC Chancellor, Steven Angle.

Currently it takes about 6 months for a company to fill a cybersecurity position that’s been created. 

“The average pay for these positions after 5 to 8 years is around $99,000. Entry level salaries are around $40,000-$55,000,” says Chancellor Angle. 

The program is a collaboration between UTC, Purdue University Northwest, Ivy Tech Community College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science and Center for Professional Education are combining to offer the program, monitoring student progress and issuing certificates once graduates complete the 10-week course.

Cybersecurity experts say the City of Chattanooga is the perfect place for this type of program because it attracts a lot of business and people-but it can also attract a lot of cyber attacks. 

“Nowadays you see that we have so many digital devices – they are connected to the internet. Once a device is connected to the internet that means a door has been opened. No matter how secure the device is designed to be there are a lot of places that can still be exploited. Remote attackers are professionals. This type of attack will never stop,” says Dr. Mengun Xie, Computer Science Professor at UTC.

This federally funded program targets a specific type of participant. Administrators are planning for 75% of the students to be military and first responders while the remaining 25% will be made up of underserved adults. 

“They have served us, they bring maturity and many of them have great experience and clearance as well. It’s also a good give back. 25% of our population is underserved-average age of 30 making $30,000 or less,” says Stephen Reiter, Program Director.

The CWCT program is divided into three focus areas—digital forensics, system administration and artificial intelligence.

The program offers the opportunity for participants to earn up to three different types of computer science certificates. 

To learn more about the program, click here

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