OTC offering new cybersecurity program in fall semester

Rev Steve Heather KOLR

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Learning to keep your online information safe from hackers is what some Ozark Technical Community College students will do this fall through a new cybersecurity program.

Dr. Matt Hudson, the Executive Dean of Techincal Education at OTC, says the college has wanted to do this for a while, but with more people handling their money online and cyber-attacks happening more often, it became a priority.

“The pipeline, the meat processing. That’s not why we created it. It’s just, it continues to validate the fact that there are constantly security breaches that will interrupt business or can cause financial loss,” Dr. Hudson said. “So, it’s a very real threat to our supply chain, our life as a consumer, all the things we deal with that are electronically driven.”

Dr. Hudson says OTC feels like cybersecurity is a good fit since it already has a networking and computer information science program.

Classes will be in Graff Hall, but it will move to the Plaster Manufacturing Center once it opens in the fall 2022 semester.

He says companies in town like O’Reilly Auto Parts and JMark are looking for cybersecurity workers, medium to small size groups too as some lack the resources to keep hackers away from their systems.

Dr. Hudson says the job has its perks.

“Whatever security protocol you put in place to protect a system, someone else is out there trying to break it down,” Dr. Hudson said. “So, it sort of is working through a game, but it’s in real life. It has real commerce behind it and all those pieces I think are appealing to workers. And it pays well.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, on average, cybersecurity workers in Missouri make more than $91,000 every year.

Students who complete this two-year program will earn an associate of applied science degree.

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