Rebecca Snider hasn’t finished high school yet and she already knows that her career path will be in cybersecurity. “I knew that I would do something with computers since I was really young,” she said. “Cybersecurity was something that I’ve heard about all over the place and I had a natural interest in it.”
As a high school senior, she’s getting an early start on the path toward her goals thanks to a partnership between Aiken Technical College (ATC) and the Aiken County Career & Technology Center (ACCTC).
Snider is among a dozen high school students currently enrolled in the College’s Cybersecurity Networking Certificate program. High school seniors began taking courses in the fall 2017 semester and will complete the program in summer 2019.
The students take courses such as operating systems, CISCO router configuration, network vulnerability assessment, and computer forensics.
Earning a college level credential shortly after graduation prepares the students to enter the workforce with a valuable skill set, said Kenneth Lott, ACCTC Director. “We live in a digital, globalized society. Cybersecurity and protecting data is important in every industry,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for students to earn a college credential that can lead to so many career pathways.”
The certificate prepares students for entry-level positions in information technology. Students are encouraged to view the certificate as the first step of lifelong learning. All of the credits earned in the program transfer into ATC’s Associate of Applied Science Computer Technology degree, which can be earned in as little as three semesters upon completion of the Cybersecurity Networking Certificate.
Being in the program has reaffirmed Snider’s interest in the field and she looks forward to each class. “My favorite part overall is just being able to be here around people who enjoy what I enjoy,” she said.
Lott said preparation is the key to success for students. “The earlier they begin planning for the future, the easier it will be.”
Learn more: www.atc.edu