Pictured from left to right are: Susan Sands, Project Mentor; Dell Najera, EPCC Instructor; John Sands, Project Mentor; Dr. Christian Servin, EPCC Instructor; Tony Vargas, EPCC Program Director; Dr. Myshie Pagel, EPCC Dean of Career and Technical Education.
El Paso Community College (EPCC) has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) through the National Center of Academic Excellence.
Institutions are designated based on their robust degree programs and close alignment to specific cybersecurity-related requirements as validated by top subject matter experts in the field.
According to Tony Vargas, EPCC Regional Cisco Networking Academy Director, there are more than 300,000 cyber security related jobs that go unfilled each year. Consequently, there is a significant workforce demand in this field and EPCC is preparing students to fill these high-demand jobs.
“EPCC has received this five-year designation beginning with the Fall 2018 semester. This will provide EPCC Information Technology students a strong resume for any job that requires knowledge and skills in Cybersecurity,” Vargas said.
According to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) a degree from a CAE designated school gives potential employers confidence in hiring a graduate. “Students can feel confident that their academic program will prepare them to enter this important and lucrative field, which reports earnings significantly higher than the national average.”
“EPCC’s programs meet the ever-changing employment needs of our region and nation,” Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction & Workforce Education, said. “The Cybersecurity field has growing demand for skilled and capable professionals to protect our nation’s infrastructure. Being designated as a CAE in Cybersecurity is just one example of EPCC’s commitment to providing academic excellence and high-quality education.”
Via a news release, EPCC officials said, “Students who study cybersecurity learn skills needed to protect information systems vital for national security, commercial networks, and critical information infrastructure in the private and public sectors. The work they do also protects people and businesses from cybercrime and cyberattacks.”
EPCC officials added, “By attending a CAE institution like EPCC, students have the opportunity to learn the necessary knowledge and abilities to protect and defend our nation’s infrastructure.”