The administration, faculty, students, and industry advisors of Augusta Technical College understand the importance of cybersecurity education. Augusta is home to the U.S. Army Signal School and the U.S. Cyber Center of Excellence and the U.S. Army Cyber Command. The Central Savannah River Area (CRSA) is not only home to national critical defense infrastructure, such as the Savannah River Site, but also to NSACSS Georgia. Security has become an increasingly dominant concern in most areas of business and life since the events of 9/11.
Our community consists of those who are first responders, civil engineers, military service members, Department of Energy workers, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Cyber School, national security cyber defenders and cyber warriors, among many others. Augusta Technical College has continuously evolved its curriculum, prepared its faculty, and updated program expectations to meet current and future cybersecurity workforce education, training, and certification requirements.
We have a long standing tradition and successful history of producing quality IT graduates. The Computer Programming Specialist program has been producing well-trained and competent programmers for over 30 years. Faculty, industry advisors, and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) state-wide curriculum developers have worked diligently to continually ensure programming methods, techniques, and languages meet current best industry practices. While during the same time period, the Computer Support Specialist program has been producing graduates fully prepared to fulfill multiple occupational roles in support of current computing infrastructure trends– to include data center operations, virtual machine computing, and cloud service technologies.
The Networking Specialist program, which was the first in the TCSG, was started over 20 years ago. This program has adopted new and emerging networking technologies to meet the needs of local and state industry. Augusta Technical College was designated a Cisco Networking Academy over 18 years ago, as well as a Microsoft IT Academy for 14 years. The networking classes have been taught in a performance-based environment with the occupational goal of preparing students to be workforce- ready and able to pass industry certifications during and on completion of their programs. The networking faculty are dedicated, long-term professionals who have proven commitment for providing high quality technical education, while emphasizing the importance of good character, work ethic, and virtues of public and private service in cybersecurity-related occupations.
Security has been an integral part of our programs for many years and we have prepared students by encouraging and offering discounts for the CompTIA Security+ and the CCNA Security certifications with the intent to help them certify and document the skills they have obtained at Augusta Technical College.
Recent market research, based on employer projections and student demand, indicates a growing demand for a high-quality cybersecurity program to meet the unfilled gap for a two-year technical degree program within our community. Based on our research (including the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework) on what a two year college should be offering in a cyber security program, we developed and initiated the state approved Cybersecurity program. We graduated our first Cybersecurity class Fall 2016 semester.