With an estimated 20,000 cybersecurity jobs currently unfilled in Maryland, Montgomery College opened its most sophisticated computer lab designed to train tomorrow’s cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity consultant positions will grow by 37 percent from by 2022, with the median salary exceeding $86,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Montgomery College established the lab with funds from both Montgomery County and the US Department of Labor. Each workstation has a 46-inch monitor and is connected to the instructor’s workstation to help aid in instruction. Students can also bring their own devices to connect with the instructor and each other.
“This is the true definition of partnership,” said DeRionne P. Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “We saw a need in our economy and our community and we knew Montgomery College could help meet that need by enhancing our offerings in the rapidly-growing cybersecurity sector.”
The lab’s infrastructure runs on a separate network so that students can engage in real-world security exercises without affecting other technology operations at the College. The movable workstations can be arranged in a variety of different configurations to suit instructional needs.
The lab will also be used by business and industry partners to hold demonstrations and trainings for their staff.
The lab is built to grow and adapt to future needs. Up to 200 additional virtual desktops and 100 additional servers can be added to facilitate learning and skill-building exercises to prepare students for industry recognized certifications in a range of information technology specialties.
The College now offers courses in digital forensics using specialized software tools that teach students how to preserve, recover and analyze digital information to be used in investigations and security audits.
For more information about the cybersecurity associate’s degree and other cyber course offerings at Montgomery College, visit, https://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/set/cybersecurity-networking/ and http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/iti/careers/cybersecurity.html.