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STLCC Receives National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Designation

With a growing dependence on cyber security analysts to protect this country’s infrastructure, St. Louis Community is offering a program to produce more experienced professionals to fill skills gap.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated STLCC as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y). This designation, with the support of the National Science Foundation and the National Cyberwatch Center, means the college has a robust cybersecurity program that meets the national training standards.

STLCC will be officially recognized during a ceremony at the National Initiative for Cybersecruity Education (NICE) Conference, scheduled for Nov. 7-8 in Dayton, Ohio. STLCC is the first community college in Missouri to receive this five-year designation.

STLCC offers both an Associate in Applied Science degree and a Certificate of Specialization in Cybersecurity. Courses are offered at the college’s Forest Park campus.

The CAE2Y designation assures that the program contain the most current preparation and rigor to educate students for the public- and private-sector information security positions needed now and in the future.

“We can no longer treat information security and privacy as an afterthought,” said Brenda Kahan, program chair. “Our information exists in social media, mobile devices, in the cloud, and on computers scattered everywhere. We need to understand where our information resides, who has access to it, and what can happen if our information is used by someone with nefarious motives.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 18 percent by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Cyberattacks have grown in frequency, and analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating problems for computer networks.