Tag Archives: Northern Virginia IT jobs

NOVA Workforce Receives $100,000 From Capital One to Develop Cybersecurity Pathway

Northern Virginia Community College has received a $100,000 grant from Capital One Foundation to help develop the Cybersecurity Career Pathways Project that will inform and support middle and high school students in the Northern Virginia Region who wish to explore and hopefully pursue a career in cybersecurity. The project will whet the appetite of a future generation of cyber workers and eventually fill a regional and national skills gap that will only continue to widen in the coming years.

NOVA will be working as part of a cohort of 14 community colleges in D.C., Maryland, New York and Texas to develop some thematic areas of focus in relation to labor-market data and career pathways to create a pilot program with two Prince William County public high schools—Forest Park and Potomac—both chosen due to their high level of diversity and for the large number of students from underserved populations.

The program will offer training to teachers and counselors within the schools to teach them the importance of these fields and to relay the needs expressed by local employers. Students will attend activities and have the chance to learn about the growing field of cybersecurity. They will participate in internships and “job-shadow” opportunities and will achieve a cybersecurity credential while still in high school. They will then move through NOVA and hopefully a four-year institution and emerge prepared to succeed in this very in-demand and high-paying field. Ultimately, as a result of this pilot, students will have a greater understanding of the importance of the cybersecurity field and the value that achieving a credential can bring them in terms of launching a career with a bright future.

NOVA’s Cybersecurity program provides a curriculum that is mapped to DHS and NSA cybersecurity education standards and is designated by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Administration as a Center of Academic Excellence for two-year institutions (CAE2Y). Our AAS Cybersecurity degree is transferable to many four-year institutions and offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of exciting competitions and extra-curricular activities. NOVA is a founding member of the National CyberWatch Center, a national consortium of colleges and universities focused on cybersecurity education.

Fixing the Glitch: the face of cyber security

From cyberattacks to technology malfunctions, our private information is at risk every day. We have developed vast networks, security protocols, and automated processes to handle many of our daily tasks, and every industry–from military to finance to entertainment–has  critical vulnerabilities revealed by attacks on data and functionality. We are facing serious gaps in both technology and the manpower to fix it.

Fixing the Glitch: The Face of Cyber Security

Information Security = Job Security

Those with a degree or certification in information security have an excellent career outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Information Security Analysts is expected to grow 37% through 2022, well above the 11% projected growth rate for all occupations. Information security analysts also receive a median annual wage of $86,170, which is higher than the average $76,270 for all computer occupations. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Ed., Information Security Analysts (visited July 13, 2015).

The path to these careers is found through both degree and certificate programs. Information security jobs are highly competitive, and require a comprehensive understanding of security and privacy throughout an organization’s technology network. IT security specialists set up and maintain their organization’s information security, from installing security software to responding to cyber attacks. And as cyber attacks become more sophisticated, approaches to information and network security must evolve in similar ways to counter the threat.

Growing a new cyber force

The Department of Defense outlined a new Cyber Strategy in April 2015, with a target of 133 Cyber Mission teams by 2018. The Mission Teams will have three primary goals: defending DoD networks, systems, and information; defending against cyberattacks; and providing cyber support to military plans.

We live in a time of growing cyber threats to U.S. interests. State and non-state actors threaten disruptive and destructive attacks against the United States and conduct cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property to undercut the United States’ technological and military advantage. …We must be dynamic, flexible, and agile in this work. We must anticipate emerging threats, identify new capabilities to build, and determine how to enhance our partnerships and planning. …By working together we will help protect and defend the United States and its interests in the digital age. (The DoD Cyber Strategy, PDF, April 2015)

To this end the Department of Defense, along with private sector and academic partners, hold annual Cyber Guard exercises that provide participants an opportunity to practice live cyber operations on a closed network against simulated adversaries. This approach blends industries with different backgrounds, to help share tactics in preparation for future cyberattacks on both government and the private sector.

Cyber Guard 2015, held in Suffolk, VA

Our area is becoming a hub for government cyber interests; the annual Cyber Guard exercise is growing rapidly each year, and the NSA and Defense Information Systems Agency have established a U.S. Cyber Command headquarters in Fort Meade, MD. From its inception in 2010, the Cyber Command staff has grown to just over 1,000; that number is expected to double over the next few years. The growth at Cyber Command has attracted the interest of technology companies in the area, including commercial tech and cybersecurity firms.

The White House has also recognized the need for more qualified candidates for technology jobs, especially positions in information technology and cybersecurity. Of the approximately 5 million available jobs in the U.S. today, almost a quarter are in IT fields such as software development and cybersecurity. Many of these jobs did not exist 10 years ago.

The average salary in a job that requires information technology (IT) skills … is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job. Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda. …Employers across the United States are in critical need of talent with these skills. Many of these programs do not require a four-year degree. (“President Obama Launches New TechHire Initiative,” March 2015)

These jobs require skills that can be learned in industry-certified training programs, in months, not years. And they’re not solely in high-tech companies; many IT and cyber jobs are available in health care, retail, energy, financial services, or even transportation.

The TechHire initiative  is focused on connecting more Americans to available technology jobs in order to keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy. TechHire is working with over 300 employer partners to recruit, train, and place applicants in over 120,000 open technology jobs. In addition, TechHire is seeking to expand training models to create more fast-track learning opportunities to meet the growing need for a tech workforce.

Cyber Virginia

In February 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order No. 8, launching the Virginia Cyber Security Commission, recognizing the economic benefit to creating new cyber jobs in Virginia. According to CompTIA’s 2015 Cyberstates (February 2015), almost 1 in 10 of Virginia’s private-sector workers are in tech industries, with an average wage of $105,000 per year. The tech industry drives 8.6% of Virginia’s economy, with over 275,000 tech industry jobs throughout the state.

The Cybersecurity 500 List for Q2 2015, published in April 2015 by Cybersecurity Ventures, lists 39 Virginia-based companies. Only California has more companies on the list, with 150. Massachusetts is behind Virginia with 35 companies. Steve Morgan, Founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures, contemplates Virginia as a hotbed for cybersecurity:

Demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.8 billion in FY 2014 to $10.0 billion in 2019 … according to Deltek’s Federal Information Security Market Report (published Oct. 2014)…. When you consider these market-sizing estimates and projections, which align to the federal sector – and all of the federal agencies that are headquartered in Virginia – it explains a lot. (Virginia is for Cybersecurity, July 7, 2015)

With all the companies in Virginia dedicated to advancing cybersecurity and new technologies for information networks, there is an accompanying need for a trained workforce to fill these positions. The “Techtopia” map below, provided by Northern Virginia Technology Council, shows the concentration of tech and cyber companies in Northern Virginia.


Become a cyber professional

In April I discussed the job outlook for cybersecurity professionals and NOVA’s Workforce Development Division dedication to addressing the skills gap here in Northern Virginia. To meet the growing need for Information and Cybersecurity professionals in the area, our Cyber Security certificate program includes entry-, mid-, and advanced-level certificates in Cyber Security. We have many IT and computer skills certificates available to IT professionals who are already working in Information Security, and provide customized training to organizations who need to advance skills of IT staff. For information on our cybersecurity certificate programs, call 703-948-3703.


NOVA Workforce Development Division | Blog
Northern Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Division is dedicated to improving Northern Virginia’s economic development and business landscape with a comprehensive variety of training options, including Professional Development, Certificate Programs, Enrichment Courses, Continuing Education, and Customized Training. Visit us online to learn more.

Cybersecurity: closing the Workforce gap

A flurry of recent articles have revealed a growing problem that is particularly troublesome in light of recent cyberattacks on Government entities, including the White House, U.S. Postal Service, and National Weather Service. Cybersecurity is a buzzword in IT circles, but students aren’t flocking to government-based job openings. Why? Federal News Radio’s Emily Kopp cites low pay compared to private-sector jobs:

…the government’s midcentury personnel structure needs an overhaul to fit today’s needs. And yes, bureaucratic systems like the security-clearance process can make it hard for workers to flow in and out of government. And the country overall needs more professionals trained in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. But there are things that agencies can do right now to address their pressing need for cybersecurity talent. …The growing awareness of cyber threats has made talented cybersecurity workers a hot commodity worldwide. (read the full article)

This sentiment is echoed in a Washington Post article, citing a Partnership for Public Service report that calls the Federal cyber workforce “woefully inadequate.”

A shortage of IT and Cybersecurity professionals is not limited to government, however. A nextgov.com article ups the ante: “The entire world appears to be in the same boat.” Drawing data from a Frost & Sullivan study on the Global Information Security Workforce, the worldwide demand for security professionals is far greater than the number of qualified people to fill available positions.

While both government and private-sector companies find ways to woo critically-needed talent to the field of cybersecurity, NOVA’s Workforce Development Division is prepared to train the next generation of IT security professionals with three Cybersecurity Certificate programs targeted toward entry-level through advanced learners.

Cybersecurity certificate programs at NOVA's Workforce Development Division

Cybersecurity certificate programs
at NOVA’s Workforce Development Division

Meeting the demands of the Information Security industry, our Cybersecurity programs focus on the fundamentals of network protection, information assurance, preventing attacks, ensuring privacy, and gaining an understanding of the ethical, legal, and regulatory world of cybersecurity. Our classes will prepare you for several industry certification exams.

If you have ever wanted to explore a career in Cybersecurity, now is an excellent time to begin your training; the government is finding ways to attract new talent to meet the growing need.

(not all courses are offered every semester.)

Entry Level Certificate
(No experience required)

  • Cyber Jobs, Pathways & Clearances
  • CompTIA® Network+
  • CompTIA® Security+
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP®)

Mid-Level Certificate
(1 – 5 years’ minimum experience required)

  • Entry Level courses PLUS:
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT)

Advanced Level Certificate
(5 – 7 years’ minimum experience required)

  • All Entry and Mid-Level courses PLUS:
  • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Additional Courses

  • CyberWatch Security
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Ethical Hacking
  • CompTIA® Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
  • Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)
  • Locking Down Linux User Accounts, File Systems, & Services
  • Protecting Windows Systems w/ Access Controls, Encryption & Group Policy
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • Computer Forensics Evidence Collection
  • Managing Information Security Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities
  • Network Security Essentials
  • Protecting Networks with Firewalls & VPNs
  • Securing Web Applications
  • Ethical Hacking Tools & Techniques
  • Information Security & Risk Management Planning

If you are interested in the Cybersecurity Certificate program offered through NOVA’s Workforce Development Division, please contact IT Program Manager Scott Wood at swood@nvcc.edu.

Workforce Development Division Hosts STEM Career Fair

On October 29, 2014 the Workforce Development Division hosted its Inaugural Workforce Industry Career Fair. The theme for this event, which was launched by the Business Development Group, focused on STEM recruiting. This event attracted fourteen marquee corporations including Verizon, Apple Inc., Discovery Communications, Novec, Enterprise Management Systems, e-Intern, ASM Research, Hanover Research, HCA Healthcare, Telos Corp., Finnegan, CGH Technologies and Pro Sol Associates as recruiting exhibitors. More than 70 job seekers, including experienced engineering and IT professionals took advantage of this opportunity to meet the exhibitors seeking to fill STEM positions at their companies.


A feedback survey clearly reflected a strong demand for these types of solutions-focused events in the Northern Virginia business community. 89% of business participants said they would attend future Workforce Industry Career Fairs at NOVA. Plans are underway for the Business Development Group to continue collaboration efforts with all of the companies to address their most pressing workforce development needs.

Workforce Development Division offers Two Cisco Certification Prep Courses

The Workforce Development Division is participating in a nationwide Department of Labor grant.  As part of the Credentials to Careers project, Workforce will be offering two Cisco certification prep courses. The course details with links to register are below:

ICND1 – 100-101 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices – Part 1
This course is designed to prepare students for the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 Exam (100-101 CCENT), the first of two exams required for certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (200-120 CCNA Routing and Switching).  Passing this exam grants you certification as a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). You will utilize state-of-the-art network simulators for hands-on practice during supervised lab sessions. Topics include Basic Networking, Routing and Switching Fundamentals, TCP/IP and OSI Models, IPv4 and IPv6 Addressing, WAN Technologies, Command Line Interface for IOS, NAT, and DHCP.

Required textbooks: Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Official Cert Guide Library, Academic Edition (ISBN: 1587144875)  & CCENT Practice and Study Guide: Exercises, Activities and Scenarios to Prepare for the ICND1 100-101 Certification Exam (ISBN: 1587133458)

Manassas – MP 311
Instructor: James Kiker, BS, Network+, Security+, CCNA, CCNP
Mon, Tue, Thur, Feb 24 – Apr 3 (No class Mar 10, 11, 13)
7:00 – 9:50 pm, 15 sessions, $999
ITEC 1506 – 01M, 4.0 CEU
Register now!

ICND2 – 200-101 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices – Part 2
This course is designed to prepare students for the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 Exam (200-101 ICND2 Routing and Switching), the second of two exams required for certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (200-120 CCNA Routing and Switching).  You will utilize state-of-the-art network simulators for hands-on practice during supervised lab sessions.  Topics include the Spanning Tree Protocol, OSPF and EIGRP IP routing protocols for IPv4 and IPv6, troubleshooting IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Virtual Private Networks, and implementing Point-to-Point and Frame Relay WANs.

Required textbooks: Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Official Cert Guide Library, Academic Edition (ISBN: 1587144875)  & ICND2: CCNA Routing and Switching Practice and Study Guide: Exercises, Activities and Scenarios to Prepare for the ICND2/CCNA 200-101 Certification Exam (ISBN: 158713344X)

Manassas – MP 311
Instructor: James Kiker, BS, Network+, Security+, CCNA, CCNP
Mon, Tue, Thur, Apr 7 – May 8
7:00 – 9:50 pm, 15 sessions, $999
ITEC 1507 – 01M, 4.0 CEU
Register now!

For more information please call 703-948-3703.