Building a Better Future for Yourself: Cybersecurity Careers

Hackers cost businesses money. With daily threats to security and disclosure of secure information, hackers affect bottom lines and consumer confidence. With nearly 500,000 vacancies around the country, cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand career opportunities available today. 

Are you interested in joining the fast-paced, exciting field of cybersecurity? Then, read on because you might have what it takes! 

WHAT IS CYBERSECURITY? 

Professionally referred to as “information technology security,” cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. In layman’s terms, cybersecurity technicians ensure the regular optimization of all electronic systems and data from foreign threats. 

HOW OFTEN DO ATTACKS OCCUR?

It isn’t uncommon to fall victim to a cybersecurity attack. According to Security Magazine, there are over 2,200 attacks daily, which breaks down to nearly one cyber attack every 39 seconds.

Government defense, healthcare, finance, and educational systems are some of the highest recorded attacks worldwide. For example, nearly 66% of all businesses experienced a phishing attack in 2020. Furthermore, Comparitech estimates a total value loss of 8.6% as the result of a cyberattack. 

Experienced hackers are after vital information such as credit cards, social security, company records, and numbers. Often, these records are then distributed en masse to the highest bidder. One of the most recent cyberattacks threatened to compromise the entire electronic system of the Colonial Pipeline. Even small businesses can fall victim to cybersecurity crime, as they often utilize resources from organizations targeted by cybercriminals.

WHY IS CYBERSECURITY IMPORTANT? 

With an increasing number of hackers beginning to target more complex networks, cybersecurity professionals are constantly educating themselves on the trends of cyber-criminality. In addition, the ripple of cyberattacks can have long-standing effects on the compromised business or corporation and their clients, networks, and other connected companies. 

Cybersecurity experts are vital to company services, detecting vulnerabilities, recommending security programs, and developing backend systems that seek to reduce the frequency and quality of corruption threats. As hackers grow in sophistication, cybersecurity specialization grows with it. 

CYBERSECURITY CAREERS 

Careers in cybersecurity include entry, mid and advanced level positions. Those who are intellectually curious and have strong critical thinking skills are particularly suited for this field. Some might find that they are better suited for consulting, while others are better suited for technical coding. Still, others in the field, who are creative and forward-thinking, seek to develop new technology that offsets cyber threats within government and private industries. 

Careers in cybersecurity are seemingly endless, and may include some of the following:

  • Junior Security Analyst
  • Cyber Operation Specialist
  • Data Recovery Specialist
  • Incident Responder
  • Malware Analyst
  • Pen Tester
  • Computer Support Analyst
  • Help Desk Analyst

Cybersecurity requires a preoccupation with problem-solving and prediction of future behavior. As a result, potential employers will look for someone with data breach experience, technical coding, and security system curation. Here are the top 38 companies that you’ll want to get to know!

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? 

Cybersecurity experts should begin to acquire a basic understanding of computers, systems and networks, data analysis and programming, fundamental security design principles, knowledge of cryptography and IT system components. They will also need to be well versed in cyber defense and cyber threats. 

While it may seem overwhelming at first glance, those best suited for a career in cybersecurity tend to enjoy it. And here at WVJC Online, we know just where to start!

READY TO BEGIN YOUR CAREER IN CYBERSECURITY? CONTACT WVJC TODAY!

The Cybersecurity Program at WVJC Online prepares students to enter the vastly expanding world of cybersecurity. The immersive program offers simulations, hands-on experience, and an externship at the end of the program. Our instructors are uniquely committed to the success of their students and have shown a willingness to schedule online and in-person meetings when necessary. When questions do arise, you can be sure that someone will be available to help. 

 Choosing a career in cybersecurity can be a great move for you and your future. The exciting field of cybersecurity is growing, and employers are hiring trained candidates to fill these positions. In our program, you will learn to succeed without prior cybersecurity knowledge, making it beginner-friendly.

If you would like to learn more about our Cybersecurity program, give us a call at 877-25ONLINE. You can also download our FREE Ebook now to begin learning about what it takes to get your degree in cybersecurity!

Jennifer Bird – Staff Highlight

When you walk through the doors at West Virginia Junior College in Cross Lanes, you can always expect a welcoming greeting from the administrative assistant, Jennifer Bird. In 1998, Jennifer graduated from WVJC and earned a diploma in Clerical Word Processing. Jennifer loved her caring instructors and hands-on educational experience. Shortly after graduation, she was contacted about an employment opportunity at WVJC, and she knew it would be a great fit!

Jennifer heard about college classes at WVJC in 1998 from her grandma. She said, “I remember my grandma finding an advertisement in the newspaper for classes at West Virginia Junior College. I made a phone call and completed the admissions process and started classes the next month.”

Jennifer wears many hats as WVJC’s Administrative Assistant. She offers support to students, graduates, staff, and faculty. She said, “I believe in the mission of WVJC and the best part is seeing students graduate and fulfill their dreams.” Jennifer is currently enrolled in the Business Administration degree program through WVJC Online. “I am enjoying my Introduction to Business course and my favorite part is learning how to start a business,” she says.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family in her spare time, working on her farm with her many animals, and horseback riding. A fun fact about Jennifer is she has 10 children, 20 dogs, 25 cows, 3 horses, 8 chickens, and 2 cats and she still greets everyone with a smile when they enter WVJC.

To learn more about WVJC, request information here!

Morgantown Nursing Program Highlight

We had the pleasure of speaking with the Dean of Nursing, Dr. Lisa Onega, and the nursing department at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown to gain insight into what our nursing students can expect from the Nursing program.

West Virginia Junior College Morgantown takes great pride in preparing our nursing students to provide quality care to our local communities.
To ensure they are prepared, Lisa says, “Nursing students use the nursing process to promote the health of individuals, families, and communities. Their studies include foundational arts and science classes as well as nursing classes. Many nursing courses have laboratory and clinical experiences that enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to foster health, healing, and hope. Nursing students also learn to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to advance individual and societal health.” In addition to nursing studies and laboratory and clinical experiences, faculty prepare their nursing students throughout the program to take the NCLEX-RN~ after graduation. Lisa confirms that the NCLEX-RN is a test that measures graduates’ abilities to provide safe nursing care. Upon successful completion of NCLEX-RN, a state grants graduates a license, and they become registered nurses.

Once becoming a registered nurse, graduates can be prepared for a rewarding career and an array of opportunities and paths. Nurses can be found in numerous settings such as hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and more. Lisa concurs that one of the exceptional things about nursing is the range of career options and that nurses may work with individuals, groups, or populations. Nurses may work in in-patient, outpatient, or community settings. She continues to say, “Regardless of the specialty or setting, everyday nurses improve health and lives of other people, and that is what we want to bring to West Virginia and our surrounding states.”

Lisa frequently answers the questions “how does one become a successful nurse?” and “can I do this?” She tells them that to be a successful nurse; one must first be a successful nursing student. She tells her students, “Nursing is a challenging and demanding discipline. Therefore, you need to put in the effort and be self-disciplined throughout your learning experience. Here at the West Virginia Junior College’s Morgantown campus, you can expect to receive the training and guidance needed to become a successful registered nurse as it is our goal to educate, mentor, and guide each nursing student to achieve his or her potential.”

However, it does take a unique individual to be a nurse. We asked our nursing department what characteristics a student needs to be a successful nursing student and later a successful nurse. They believe that successful students and nurses possess the characteristics of honesty, integrity, accountability, confidentiality, professionalism, time management skills, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and organizational skills. In addition, nursing students have to be flexible and willing to learn as nursing is continually changing and always strives to be up to date on the newest technology. Lisa adds, “And most importantly, nurses have to be self-reflective, empathic, compassionate, and kind. You want to show true care for your patients.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program, request information here!

~Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.

Jonathan Eads – Student Highlight

Before enrolling at WVJC, Business Administration student, Jonathan Eads, worked as a general laborer. He was enrolled at a community college a few hours away from home, but decided last minute not to attend because his dorm living was restricted due to COVID-19. Jonathan decided to contact WVJC due to the proximity to his home. He said, “I chose WVJC because it is a small college environment, and it’s in a convenient location. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful for me in deciding what I wanted to do.”

Jonathan chose the Business Administration program because he is interested in opening his own business. Jonathan’s favorite part about attending WVJC is the small classes. He said, “I like smaller classes because it gives you more opportunity for one on one time with your instructors.” His favorite instructor is Academic Dean, Katie Harvey. He said, “Mrs. Harvey is so helpful and cares about her students. My favorite class so far is marketing.

When Jonathan is not attending classes, his idea of a perfect day is sunny, 75-degree weather fishing on the lake. Jonathan is looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience in the business field to operate his own business one day.  His 5-year goal is to own a home and be a successful business owner.

To learn more about WVJC’s Business Administration program, request information here!

Branson Crites – Graduate Highlight

Branson Crites originally enrolled at West Virginia Junior College in the Information Technology diploma program. He graduated in 2020 and decided to re-enroll in the Network Administration Security degree program. Branson made this choice because he wanted to get the most out of his education. He enjoyed his first 12 months and didn’t want his education experience to end. In June 2021, he graduated with two degrees from WVJC.

Branson’s favorite part of WVJC is making friends. “Getting to know fellow students and even staff was helpful in getting comfortable with school again, which helped me stick with it,” he says.

Branson’s favorite teacher at WVJC is Ms. Holyfield, who teaches many general education courses and manages the library. Branson stated, “Ms. Holyfield has been instrumental in my success as a student. She has always been there when I needed her, and she never has any problems letting me be myself. I know that even after my time as a student ends, she will always be there for me.” Having someone in his corner every step of the way at WVJC gave Branson the confidence he needed to excel in his courses.

After graduation, Branson would love to have a job that gives him hands-on experience working in the IT field. When asked how he would like his life to be in five years, Branson replied, “In five years, hopefully, I will have learned a lot more about information technology management and maybe turn toward education. Helping others learn about what I am passionate about seems like a great way to live life.”

Branson also stated that “WVJC is the environment that is ultimately set up for you to succeed, and all the support you could need is available.” Branson is very excited to have graduated and hopes to find a great job. He feels confident that he will be a valuable asset to any company he finds employment with. His certifications and experience gained through his externships have given him the knowledge and confidence to get out there and start working in the field he is passionate about.

To learn more about WVJC’s Information Technology program, request information here!

 

Summer Parsons – Student Highlight

Legal Office Assisting student Summer Parsons has been attending WVJC since May 2020. Prior to starting college and after high school, Summer took a year off. She said she was feeling “stuck” in Morgantown and was beginning work as a server. She decided that it was time for her to make a change and followed her heart to begin her career in the legal field!

When deciding where she would attend college, Summer knew that she was not ready to begin a 4-year degree. She wanted something a little faster that would still allow her to obtain a good career. At the time, she was not completely sure what she wanted to do in the legal field, and she also did not want to spend all of the money that a 4-year college costs if she was not sure of her path. With this being said, she knew she was interested in the legal field because she was always involved in politics and wanted to advocate for others. Summer wants to make a difference, and she knows this program will allow her to do so!

During Summer’s time at WVJC, she has made some amazing connections with her instructors. In particular, she said, “Bryce (Adkins) and Dustin (Blankenship) would have to be my favorites. They have helped me with so much.” She said that they both helped her academically and with personal issues, going above and beyond what she expected.

After graduation, Summer plans to go on and get her bachelor’s degree in public policy. She hopes this will allow her more opportunities to work in either criminal defense law or family law. This decision is based on her desire to help others and be their voice when they do not have one. The passion Summer has for the legal field is shown through her work and her goals! She is also hoping to pursue higher education somewhere warmer. Her family is from Florida, so that may be the place calling her name! In conclusion, Summer emphasized multiple times how she loves going to WVJC and tells all of her friends that are struggling with finding what they want to do or who need a good support system to come to WVJC!

To learn more about WVJC’s short-term programs, request information here!

Amanda Poling – Nursing Staff Highlight

Amanda Poling has been employed by WVJC since December 2020 as the Clinical Coordinator for the nursing programs. She is responsible for the clinical side of both nursing programs at the Bridgeport campus. As the clinical coordinator, Amanda is responsible for developing affiliation agreements with various area hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. She ensures all students are compliant with West Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for clinical experience and schedules all clinical assignments for the practical nursing students and registered nursing students. She takes great pride in developing sound clinical experiences for the students and enjoys hearing all the stories students have from the clinical rotations.

When asked what motivates her, she had this to say, “What motivates me is hearing the excitement the students have after a wonderful clinical day. They are able to take the information and knowledge learned in the classroom and apply [it] to real patients. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they are able to link a concept learned in the classroom to their live patient in the clinical setting.”

Prior to working at WVJC, Amanda wore many hats. She graduated from Alderson Broaddus College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her nursing degree, she worked as a pediatric oncology nurse, traveled as a pediatric oncology nurse, worked as an outpatient infusion nurse, surgical nurse, and most recently, as an assistant professor of nursing. Amanda continued her education and obtained a Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management Degree in 2016 from Western Governors University, and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Walden University in 2017. She also recently applied to The University of Southern Mississippi’s doctoral program.

Her favorite part of working for WVJC is watching the students become successful professionals.  She also appreciates the flexibility and the wonderful administration and staff that have the same passion for seeing students succeed.

To learn more about WVJC’s nursing programs, request information here!

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics –
Externship Highlight

WVJC collaborates with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics to provide dental assisting students hands-on learning opportunities during their externship. Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics has provided the communities of South Charleston, WV, and Gallipolis, OH, with excellent orthodontic care since 1993.  Orthodontic care is delivered with the expert assistance of a talented and friendly team utilizing the most advanced techniques available.

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics offers a comprehensive range of orthodontic treatments for children and adults that allows students to receive a great overview of the specialty dental field. WVJC’s dental assisting students observe and perform hands-on skills in a professional orthodontic office setting with up-to-date dental equipment and advanced technology. Students have the opportunity to take digital x-rays, prepare and sterilize instruments, perform lab procedures, and interact with patients.

The staff and faculty at WVJC are grateful for the collaboration with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics.  Students love the friendliness of the staff and the opportunity to learn the latest and greatest advancements in the orthodontic field. The externship experience is extremely beneficial for students as they apply their skills in a dental office setting.

If you are looking for a fast-track training program that provides you an externship experience, request information here!

CPR Cell Phone Repair – Externship Highlight

We took a trip down to our newest externship site, CPR Cell Phone Repair, located in the Suncrest Town Centre in Morgantown! Immediately upon walking into the doors, you feel welcomed by the manager, Matt Bowen.

Matt informed us that CPR Cell Phone Repair has an interesting history as they were once better known as Fanelli Boys. Fanelli Boys has been repairing electronic devices since 1997, when their first shop opened in Orlando, Florida, and has been expanding ever since. It has only been 4 years that CPR Cell Phone Repair has been using their new name but remains associated with Fanelli Boys. CPR Cell Phone Repair has kept up with the Fanelli Boys standards as they quickly diagnose and fix electronic devices.

WVJC students have a lot to learn from this well-established franchise as they learn how to troubleshoot and diagnose electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets, computers, and laptops. Their externship experience at CPR Cell Phone Repair allows students to get an understanding of how to troubleshoot not only hardware issues but also software issues. Students get the hands-on experience they need to increase their technical knowledge and increase their problem-solving abilities. Another exciting experience for students is shadowing excellent customer service techniques delivered by the CPR technicians. Therefore, our students who extern at CPR Cell Phone Repair will get the technological experience they are looking for and learn techniques for professionally interacting with customers.

WVJC students are not the only ones benefitting from this partnership. Matt expressed that it has been beneficial to have WVJC students as externs because they bring fresh eyes and new ideas. Matt and his team also shared that they genuinely enjoy teaching these skills to students. This experience for both parties opens up the opportunity for permanent employment if students show a dedication to learning and a strong work ethic.

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting externship program, request information here!

Rachel Pauley – Student Highlight

Rachel Pauley is currently finishing her last six weeks as a West Virginia Junior College student in the Dental Assisting Associate Degree program. She reiterates that she cannot believe how quickly 18 months have flown by. She reflects on the moment when she first walked through the doors at WVJC Charleston and realized that this was the school for her. “I adored the super kind staff and the upbeat attitude everyone had when I visited. I loved it from the very beginning. I was super encouraged to look into the school because I had always heard amazing things about the institution.”

Rachel chose WVJC’s Dental Assisting program because working with teeth has always been a dream of hers. She always loved visiting the dentist when she was young, and she knew it was a career field she wanted to pursue. Once finished with school, Rachel will be working at South Hills Dental as a Dental Assistant.

When asked about her favorite part of attending WVJC, she said, “Meeting new people and making new friends in classes. I have made some amazing friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I also loved the hands-on labs and practicing different procedures. Ms. Renee, our Dental Assisting Director, brings so much joy and happiness to the classroom as well. She has served as a role model for me to look up to. I was so nervous my first day, and she made me feel so welcome and excited to start. We have a special bond now, and I will miss her dearly when I graduate soon.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Dental Assisting program, request information here!