The owner of a local information technology company wants to see if local youths can “hack” it at computer programming.
Adirondack Technical Solutions President Jared Humiston is partnering with SUNY Adirondack to host a “Hack-A-Thon” event at the college in March.
At the event, high school students would participate in a variety of challenges, such as “Capture the Flag,” in which they would try to protect a computer asset from being hacked by their competitors.
“It is a competition to test out your skills. We figure this would be a great opportunity to get high school students interested in the college, interested in the cybersecurity field,” he said.
Third-party judges would assess how well students perform the work.
The event will be the latest to come out of a partnership between the Argyle-based company and the community college.
Adirondack Technical Solutions has provided job opportunities for graduates, given insight into industry trends and made presentations in classrooms. College officials used the company’s expertise to develop its new associate’s degree program in cybersecurity, which will debut in the fall of 2017.
Humiston and SUNY Adirondack President Kristine Duffy signed a formal agreement to continue their partnership.
Jobs in cybersecurity have increased by almost 75 percent in the last five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Cybersecurity is the future of technology. If you guys haven’t seen it in the news, it affects elections. It affects everything,” he said.
Duffy praised Humiston for his willingness to partner with the college.
“Jared is an Argyle native who is bringing good-paying IT jobs to this community,” she said.
The business has hired four SUNY Adirondack graduates, Humiston said, and will continue to build out the college’s computer facilities as the program grows.
Karen Woodard, associate professor of information technology, said the new cybersecurity degree will incorporate three security industry certifications, in addition to the current Cisco certification the college offers.
SUNY Adirondack is working out a transfer agreement with SUNY Cobleskill to allow students who complete the cybersecurity degree to continue their studies to obtain a four-year degree in IT information security/cybersecurity track, according to Woodard.
Some of the other companies that assisted in developing the cybersecurity program were North Country Computing, Annese & Associates of Clifton Park, Glens Falls Hospital and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES, she said.
Rose Tasso of Wilton is currently attending the Cisco networking program at the Wilton campus. She is still thinking about what to do after college.
“Network security does seem like a really good idea because it’s ever-growing and job opportunities are springing up everywhere,” she said.