By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- Eastern Florida State College is the recent beneficiary of a $1.5 million grant, helping to launch new computer information technology programs at the college, while creating a state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab, helping to improve student and workforce training.
On Tuesday, April 22, EFSC announced that the cybersecurity lab, which will be located on the Palm Bay campus this fall, will be a major addition to the Associate in Science degree program in Cybersecurity, which the college began in 2013 to help meet the rapidly increasing need for expertise in the field.
The $1.5 million grant, which the college received last year from the U.S. Department of Labor, was part of a national initiative to develop and expand innovative educational programs.
"We provided information on the new computer technology programs the college is offering that are allowing students to attain bachelor's degrees and associate's degrees in the field, and how those programs are creating jobs in fast-growth career fields, as Brevard County continues its economic recovery in the post-recession, post-space shuttle era," said John J. Glisch, associate vice president of communication at EFSC.
The cybersecurity program at EFSC is just one of three specializations available as part of the Networking Services Technology A.S. degree.
The new lab will allow students and faculty to closely interact on ways to prevent hacking -- the digital plague that has harmed individuals, businesses, corporations and government agencies across the globe.
David Shedrow, a computer science instructor at the college, said that cybersecurity is a fast-growing area that will offer a plethora of jobs to those, who have the proper knowledge and educational training.
"We're hoping to build strong relationships with Brevard companies," Mr. Shedrow said in a press release. "If we have a good pool of students coming out of our program, hopefully they can get their foot in the door and get hired."
Mr. Shedrow said the program could help attract students to the field, as well as experienced workers from local companies, such as Harris Corporation, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, all of which require annual cybersecurity training. It may also attract others, such as displaced NASA workers, unemployed or underemployed technology workers or technology professionals, interested in changing careers.
Brevard County's local job market, as well as the regional job market, will be especially promising for students, who complete the cybersecurity program, because companies, such as the ones named above, are major defense contractors and work on Pentagon project, in which cybersecurity is of the utmost importance.
"This is a state-of-the-art facility that reflects the college's rapid advancement in offering more educational opportunities to students, with 22 new programs, launched in the past two years, with a strong focus on business, health care and computer information technologies," Mr. Glisch said.
The remainder of the federal grant monies will help get three new bachelor's degree programs in Computer Information Systems Technologies off the ground in August 2014.
For more information about the cybersecurity program and lab project, contact David Shedrow at (321) 433-5356 or Stephen Taylor at (321) 433-5363.