Blog: Coastline College Filling the Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

The need for cybersecurity experts is rapidly expanding and cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. Cybercrime is increasing in complexity and frequency. It is considered to be a significant danger to U.S. government agencies, companies, and organizations susceptible to potential data breaches and cyber-attacks, which affect our national and economic security.

Graduates with a degree or certificate in cybersecurity have a range of career options in every industry, including positions in banking and finance, tech, manufacturing, and in government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA). Like other computer networking degrees, salaries for those involved in cybersecurity and information security are usually higher than average. Cybersecurity professionals can earn an average

salary of $116,000 , which is nearly three times the national average salary. According to a study by the nonprofit Center for Cyber Safety and Education, there will be a global shortage of cybersecurity workforce, which is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022.

Coastline’s Cybersecurity program offers a traditional 60-unit Associate degree, in addition to a number of career certificates. The Cybersecurity program is jointly sponsored through DHS and the NSA. Coastline’s Cybersecurity degree and programs train students to develop a unique skill set in the information technology field with critical thinking and investigative techniques.

Cybersecurity students learn how to design, manage, and secure computer network systems, which prepares students for a variety of positions in this specialized field. Our program includes courses in Cyber Defense, Ethical Hacking, Digital Forensics, and Security Management. The curriculum is designed for both the student who intends to seek full-time employment after graduation and the student who wishes to transfer to Information Assurance, Information Systems or Information Technology programs at a four-year college.

According to Nancy S. Jones, Ed.D., Dean of Business and CTE, Coastline College, “Coastline is a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Regional Resource Center (CRRC) for other two-year and four-year institutions in the seven southwestern states. The success of Coastline College’s Cybersecurity program is due in large part to engagement with schools and community groups.”

Currently, Coastline has 1894 enrolled students across the cybersecurity, computer graphics, and Cisco Academy disciplines. Coastline recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop a new Associate degree path for Digital Forensics and Incident Response. Coastline College is designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense for Two-Year Colleges (CAE2Y). There are only three community colleges in California that hold this special designation; Coastline was the first community college to receive this prestigious designation.

As president, I am very proud and appreciative of the leadership and the outstanding work being done by our faculty and staff in advancing education in cyber defense. Professor Tobi West and Dr. Brandon Brown, faculty in the Cybersecurity program are well-known and highly regarded in their field. Programs such as CyberPatriot, the nation’s largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, of which Coastline is a part of, as the SoCal Cybersecurity Community College Consortium. Coastline is one of only 13 institutions nationwide to receive their Center of Excellence designation award. Professor Tobi West also founded the CyberTech Girls project for girls between 7th – 12th grade to learn about cybersecurity through hands-on workshops at college campuses and help advance the participation of women in a predominately male field.