SCC launching new IT-Cybersecurity Degree

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Stanly Community College (SCC) will be launching a new and exciting Associate in Applied Science Degree in Information Technology (IT) Cybersecurity, beginning fall 2018. The curriculum teaches students how to protect systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.

Students will learn the following skill set: identify types of cybersecurity threats; analyze networks for vulnerabilities; protect hardware, software and data from cyberattacks; identify hacking techniques used in cyberattacks; observe, collect, document and store electronic evidence; and learn network tools to analyze cybersecurity activities. Graduates should qualify for entry-level positions as cyber security specialists, cyber security analysts, cyber security engineers, cyber incident responders, and information assurance specialists.

Gonda Watson, program head for the new IT-Cybersecurity program, describes cybersecurity as the practice of protecting systems and networks from digital attacks that are aimed at extorting money from users, destroying sensitive information, or disrupting normal business operations. “Our students are going to learn what ransomware, phishing, botnet, social engineering, and other cybercrime/hacking terminology is all about. Students will become familiar with using network tools such as Metasploit, Security Onion, Wireshark, and many more. Our new degree will teach the next cybersecurity generation the skills necessary to help them understand the threats our businesses and organizations are facing every day and empower them to make evidence-based decisions to minimize the cybercrime activity,” said Watson. According to 2018 EMSI data (, the median hourly earnings for a cybersecurity position is $44.58, and 26,232 jobs are currently available in our region. By the year 2023, cybersecurity positions will increase by 12.70%, or 29,563 new positions will be available.

We encourage anyone who is interested in the new IT-Cybersecurity Degree to contact Gonda Watson at (704) 991-0390 or Individuals can learn more about the many IT programs available at SCC (IT-Business Support, IT-Cybersecurity, IT-Network Management, and IT-Academy) at

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