Increasing the Number and Diversity of Cybersecurity Technicians in Rural North Carolina

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for cybersecurity technicians will grow more than 30 percent over the next decade. The number of students enrolled in and graduating from cybersecurity programs is not at a pace that can meet this growing demand. As a result, the nation will not have enough domestically trained cybersecurity technicians to satisfy the needs of industry, business, government, and other sectors. This project aims to addresses critical regional and national needs for skilled cybersecurity technicians. It will do so by collaborating with the local education agency's high school Career and Technical Education program, local businesses, and industries to increase the number of trained cybersecurity technicians who are ready for work. Program pathways will be created that allow students to earn credits toward a degree in applied science while completing an industry-recognized certificate in cybersecurity. Internships with local businesses and organizations will provide students with opportunities to put the skills they are learning in the classroom into real-world practice.

The goals of this project include: (1) producing skilled, highly qualified, and career-ready cybersecurity technicians; (2) equipping information technology faculty with the cybersecurity knowledge and skills required to effectively teach cybersecurity and optimize student learning and retention; (3) recruiting, retaining, and graduating individuals from communities that are underrepresented in cybersecurity, including women. Evaluation of the project will include both formative and summative assessment of the efficacy of the program in meeting the proposed goals and outcomes. The outcomes of this project have the potential to advance knowledge about challenges that students in a rural community face as learners in STEM fields, particularly in the information technology and cybersecurity fields.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
May 1st, 2021
ATE Expiration Date
April 30th
ATE Principal Investigator
Michael Jacobs
Primary Institution
Robeson Community College
Record Type
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