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.