Program prepares students to enter the field immediately or transfer to a four-year institution.
To help students learn more about the variety of courses of study that Schoolcraft College offers, we’re introducing a new monthly feature called “Program Spotlight.” In each Program Spotlight, we’ll provide an overview of what students will learn, the expertise of our faculty and career outlook. For this installment, we take a look at Cybersecurity. Our thanks to Timothy S. Baron, Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems (CIS)/Computer Networking Technology (CNT), for his insights.
With data breaches, compromised personal and financial information and hackers in the news almost daily, the importance of cybersecurity has never been greater. Schoolcraft College offers two options in this vital field through the Computer Information Systems Program: A Cybersecurity Associate in Applied Science Degree and a Cybersecurity Certificate.
From a high level, cybersecurity involves protecting an organization’s networks, software and information from potential threats.
“Our Cybersecurity programs prepare students for entry into the cybersecurity field,” said Timothy S. Baron, CIS Professor. “Like many fields there is no one-size-fits-all job description, and many specialties can be associated with ‘cybersecurity.’
“Information security always has been important. Cybersecurity is more specifically connected to any industry that uses a network or any digital device, which pretty much includes everything! This, in turn, provides students who have the requisite skills and knowledge a very large pool of potential employers.”
In particular, Schoolcraft College’s programs help students create a solid foundation of networking and software knowledge that leads to learning about advanced security topics, including design decisions, assessing weaknesses and implementing appropriate defenses.
Students learn this material from experts with professional experience.
“Each of the faculty teaching CIS and CNT courses within the program has applicable industry experience and credentials,” Professor Baron said. “This can be in the form of industry recognized certifications, demonstrated skills, or relevant and timely experience in the real world.”
In addition, the College has invested heavily in physical equipment and software needed to provide the best learning experience.
“Each of our programs have courses that align to widely recognized industry certifications from organizations such as CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, and (ISC)2,” Professor Baron said. “These certifications and the skills they encompass are in constant demand and give the students that achieve them a leg up when pursuing employment opportunities. This alignment also enables our courses to be transferable to many four-year institutions, with many students choosing to further their education after transferring from Schoolcraft.”
Although the subject of cybersecurity can be an intimidating one, Professor Baron emphasizes that it is approachable as well.
“Changing career fields, finding a new direction, and learning something completely new after many years or decades can be very scary,” Professor Baron said. “Our program, and many other programs at Schoolcraft, enable students to do just that and find new success.
“Cybersecurity-related skills are in constant demand, and many of cybersecurity’s most important tenets are familiar to someone with little to no technical experience. So if you’re interested in cybersecurity but find yourself being a bit intimidated, we can help you to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to pursue your goals.”