Wilkes Community College’s Information Technology Network Management two-year degree was recently validated by the National Security Agency (NSA) after a review completed in partnership with a committee of academic peers. The NSA is committed to remaining the pre-eminent foreign signals intelligence and cybersecurity agency in the nation, from protecting warfighters around the world to enabling and supporting operations on land, in the air, at sea, in space, and in the cyber domain. The NSA certification is set through 2028.

Preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks is essential to all organizations, and cybersecurity specialists are fighting on the front lines of this effort. With the rising need for protecting our national and personal security from online intrusions, there is a call from government and corporate areas to have specialists, administrators, and leaders trained in this field. The National Cyber Strategy, released in September 2018, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.

“This presents some exciting opportunities for our students as they can be confident that the skills we teach at Wilkes Community College are the same that are needed in both public and private sector cybersecurity,” said Jere Miles, lead instructor of Information Technology.

The validation ensures a gold standard of curriculum and learning outcomes in the Network Management associate degree that directly contributes to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure, preparing highly skilled graduates to immediately join the cybersecurity workforce.

The Information Technology: Network Management program is a 70-credit associate degree program available at Wilkes Community College’s main campus in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Students may enter the program on a rolling basis and can start in any of the semesters offered throughout the year.

Institutions have programs validated based on a close alignment of curricula components to specific cybersecurity-related knowledge units (KUs); this alignment is verified by top subject matter experts in the cyber field. The overarching goal of this program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and expertise in cyber defense (CD). The standards set forth by the NSA/DHS curriculum guidelines ensure that students from validated programs of study receive a quality and robust cybersecurity education that prepares them for a career in the cyber workforce.

Chief Operating Officer at InfusionPoints, LLC, Jason Shropshire stated, “InfusionPoints is dedicated to supporting our clients in adopting and complying with Federal government regulations. We are thrilled to learn that Wilkes Community College has achieved program validation from the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program. This prestigious recognition ensures that Wilkes Community College’s curriculum and its graduates are well-equipped with the necessary job skills to address modern cybersecurity threats, opening numerous exciting opportunities for future professionals in the field. We are honored to continue our advisory role in Wilkes Community College’s cybersecurity curriculum, assisting them in their commitment to excellence.”