Providing additional certification opportunities for students

Students enrolled in either the Network Management or Systems Security program at Wilkes Community College (WCC) will soon have the opportunity to add new certifications to their resumes after completing coursework and certification exams.

For the past twenty years, Wilkes Community College has been a Cisco Networking Academy preparing students for the coveted Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) network certification. We now also prepare students for the Cisco CyberOps Associate certification to qualify individuals for positions as security analysts.

Over the summer, WCC completed the process of becoming an EC-Council Academia Partner as well which allows students to prepare for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certifications to demonstrate industry-recognized skills in both offensive and defensive cybersecurity techniques as recognized by government agencies including the Department of Defense (DoD).

To further enhance our networking and cybersecurity education WCC has been accepted as a Palo Alto Cybersecurity Academy. Palo Alto Networks is a worldwide leader in next-generation firewall technology and its solutions are employed by a majority of public and private sector bodies in need of network security. Through this relationship, WCC offers course content to help prepare students for the Palo Alto Certified Network Security Administrator (PCNSA) exam that demonstrates the skills of configuring and managing firewall technology to protect valuable data.

WCC has also joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy, which was created to bridge the gap between academia and industry regarding cloud computing – a means for storing and accessing data over the internet in lieu of a computer’s hard drive. More than 160 colleges and universities across the country are members of the Academy, and Wilkes Community College is one of only a handful of colleges in North Carolina to offer the benefit to Information Technology students.

Along with AWS Academy, WCC has been approved as a VMWare IT Academy allowing for the incorporation of VMWare’s industry-leading virtualization software in various courses within the degree-seeking pathways. This integration allows students to learn real-world skills in the rapidly expanding realm of cloud and virtualized computing. Following the Covid pandemic, the need for these skills has been on global display as many companies entered remote working environments requiring advanced solutions to the computing problems that they encountered.

“Through these new partnerships we are able to offer our students cutting edge training,” said Jere Miles, lead instructor of Information Technology. “There is a large need for qualified workers and adding these certification opportunities to the program for our students will make them more sought after.”

For questions about the Information Technology program or certifications, contact Jere Miles at 336-838-6100 ext. 6437 or at