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RALEIGH, N.C. (October 20, 2023) – Wake Tech and partners Central Carolina Community College and Durham Technical Community College are listening to the needs of regional IT employers to help train top cybersecurity talent.

As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the three colleges came together for the Cybersecurity Workforce Summit, held at Kramden Institute in Durham.

Leaders from area companies such as Cisco, MetLife, RTI International and Zscaler, the NC TECH Association and college staff and faculty attended the event to analyze labor market trends and discuss hiring practices, qualifications and industry certifications needed to be well prepared for early career cybersecurity jobs.

With more than 18,000 cybersecurity job openings in North Carolina, the need for cybersecurity professionals to protect data and infrastructure is great in the Research Triangle Park region.

Through the collaboration, the three colleges hope to zero in on the competencies and technology skills industries are looking for, especially when hiring entry-level security talent, and align cybersecurity training programs to those needs.

“Our primary goal is to work together to really evaluate and understand the regional labor market, the demand for early careers in cybersecurity and the skills necessary to be successful in those early career roles so we can best prepare our students,” said Dr. Keith Babuszczak, Wake Tech’s provost of IT programs. “We also want our industry partners to know we are listening to their needs as we help fill the workforce gap with qualified talent.”

Wake Tech is a leader in cybersecurity education as one of only 18 colleges and eight community colleges in North Carolina to be designated a member of the Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity.

Wake Tech offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Cybersecurity within the college’s information technology program offerings. Currently, more than 1,000 students are enrolled in the degree and related certificates. The degree prepares students for an IT career in security, digital forensics and ethical hacking. Courses include routing and switching, network vulnerabilities, secure communications, system and security administration, data recovery and computer investigations. Wake Tech also teaches cybersecurity workforce development courses.

Articulation agreements with East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, Shaw University, North Carolina Wesleyan University, Western Governors University and Northeastern University allow Wake Tech cybersecurity associate degree graduates even more options to transfer seamlessly into bachelor’s degree programs in information technology.

September 2023

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