Josie Cooper – Graduate Highlight

Josie Cooper knew she had to change careers after her employment as store manager unfortunately ended. Before deciding on attending WVJC, Josie had always been on the fence about returning to college. “With always working before, I felt I never had the time to follow that dream. It was a dream of mine to go back and complete what I had started.” Josie wanted a better and brighter future for her family. “That future started with me, and I knew I had to go back.”

Josie chose WVJC after researching local colleges in her area. “WVJC seemed to have everything I needed to succeed. The staff was accommodating along the way, and admissions made sure to put me in a program that best suited my interest.” Josie also noted that the new student orientation made the worries of being a new student fade away. “I was through the first term before I knew it!”

Josie knew she always wanted to be in the medical field but didn’t know where to start. What she did know was that she wanted to complete her education, earn her degree, and enter a promising career field. That is the reason she chose WVJC Online’s Medical Coding program. Her favorite part about attending WVJC was the flexibility it offered. “I was able to enjoy my personal time with my family and continue working full-time while furthering my education.” Her favorite teacher was Dr. Kacey Eagle. “She made sure all her students had the resources needed to succeed and was always there when she was needed.”Now that Josie has graduated, she is happy to say she is working in her career field. After obtaining her CPC certification for medical coding, Josie is now a Coding Assistant Analyst! With her experience, she says she would absolutely refer any friend to WVJC. “I would encourage anyone to go back to continue their education, and if carrying a full-time job was a worry, I would let them know it was possible at WVJC. I am an example of just that.”

To learn more about WVJC Online, request information here!

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!

Encompass Health – Externship Highlight

Sue Bolyard, the Program Manager of Hospital Education, gave WVJC Online a peek at what our WVJC Online Clinical Medical Assistant students will experience during their externship at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Morgantown.

“Your WVJC students will receive training about our rehabilitation patients. We provide medical care and also functional care. Your students will learn glucose monitoring, bladder scanning, transfers, activities of daily living techniques, and how to treat the patient with CPR; Comfort, Professionalism, and Respect,” Sue tells us.

Encompass Health is a national leader in integrated healthcare services that offers both facility-based and home-based patient care through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. The organization is known nationally as it includes 139 hospitals, 241 home health locations, and 82 hospice locations in 39 states and Puerto Rico and has been ranked as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for. Sue confirms this as she shared with us that there are many benefits and opportunities for their patients, family, and staff.

Speaking of career opportunities, Sue says that the company has benefitted from having WVJC externs, as several WVJC students that have gone through their facility have become employed after training with them. Sue and her team enjoy providing the training and feel accomplished when they watch students gain the experience they will need in their future careers.

Sue shares that there is growth happening within their business. You can expect to see Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Morgantown to be Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Certified along with their current certification from the Joint Commission as a Stroke Center of Excellence. “With the population aging, we are seeing more patients with chronic illnesses and problems that go along with them. Our goal is to improve the quality of their life!” says Sue.

Going into the medical field, you have to be determined but also have care in your heart for your patients. So when entering school, Sue advises students to “study hard, get a degree, be a contributing adult to our society, and take some time to enjoy life with friends and family!”

To learn more about WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

Carlita Olvera – Student Highlight

WVJC is Carlita’s first official experience attending college. Prior to starting with us, she took all the necessary steps to further her education, but wasn’t able to get the support she needed at the time.

Before starting her program, Carlita was a stay-at-home mom to her son, Ezra. She wasn’t initially looking to start school, but when her fiancé came home after hearing a commercial on the radio, they felt it was time to start making their dreams happen.

Carlita chose the Medical Office Administration program because she wants to continue furthering her education to become a medical coder one day. She felt this program would allow her to get her foot in the door within the healthcare field and allow her to get experience under her belt.

Carlita’s favorite part of attending WVJC is the flexibility it allows her. She was worried when starting the program that it would be difficult to balance her schedule, but she has found that she still has the freedom to maintain her normal schedule with her son while getting all of her coursework completed throughout the week.

Although Carlita has only completed a few courses so far, her favorite has been Student Success Strategies. She was able to gain useful skills that will help her both in and out of class. Having this as one of her first courses was able to give her the confidence boost she needed.

Carlita has just the right idea of what a great day would look like for her. “My perfect day would have to be waking up to a clean house, getting my and my son’s school work done, and then spending the rest of the day on an adventure as a little family,” she says.

In the next five years, Carlita would like to see herself owning her own property (with her own goats and bumblebees), being married to her fiancé, and living debt-free. Her dream job would be working in a multi-specialist doctor’s office or a larger hospital. She is excited to see what her degree has to offer her in the future.

To learn more about the flexibility that WVJC Online has to offer, request information here!

Pharmacy Technician – Progam Highlight

Jamie McGuire, the WVJC Pharmacy Technician Program Director, beamed with excitement when we sat down to discuss the advantages students have when attending the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program.

“Pharmacy technicians are in demand within many versatile settings,” Jamie tells us. These settings include hospital and clinic pharmacies, community and retail pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, and pharmacies in primary care organizations. It is also no surprise to find pharmacy technicians in education and training settings, prisons, the military, and pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry. In WVJC’s program, we assist our students with obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a position in any of these pharmaceutical areas.

Through the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program, students can expect to learn how to compound medications, assemble medication for prescriptions, fill and label prescriptions, and verify the accuracy of those orders. Students also learn how to provide patients and other healthcare professionals with relevant information regarding medications. Within their roles as pharmacy technicians, these foundational skills are the gateway for advancement. WVJC’s program also gives students an understanding of medication therapy management, insurance and billing, and specialized medications such as chemotherapy. Our pharmacy technician students not only learn these skills, but also get to bring these learning concepts to life as they participate in hands-on training through weekend clinical activities, externship experiences, and WVJC’s new customized pharmacy technician simulation training. Alongside the simulation training, WVJC Online students will receive a home kit completed with the tools they need to get hands-on training right in their home, so they feel confident on their first day of externship and as they start to merge into their career.

When asked which characteristics students need to succeed in this career, Jamie replied, “someone that is ready to go on an adventure! Most individuals think that it is academics or ‘book smarts’ that will make them succeed in this field. However, it is not just academics. Many mistakes happen during the learning process, and they have to be able to learn from those mistakes and let them go. Students that are willing to work hard and willing to push forward are the ones that succeed.”

Not only is the academic experience an adventure for WVJC Online students, but the career progression for pharmacy technicians looks promising for a fulfilled career journey. As pharmacists continue to evolve to provide more direct patient care, you can expect to see an evolution in the role of pharmacy technicians as well. We are already witnessing the first steps into the future of pharmacy technicians due to COVID-19, as pharmacy technicians are currently administering vaccinations to patients on the frontlines. As the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase, you will see more advanced certifications coming into play for pharmacy technicians to continue to grow in their field.

“Being a pharmacy technician is one of healthcare’s best kept secrets, because there is so much opportunity, demand, and growth happening in the industry. It is a surprisingly rewarding industry to dive into and is more than what meets the eye!” Jamie exclaims.

To learn more about WVJC Online’s exciting Pharmacy Technician program, request information here!

Learn About Career Services At WVJC Online

Do you know what career management services at WVJC Online has to offer you? If not, you will not want to miss this video as the Director of Career Management, Brittany Remington informs you about three of the several benefits that career management has to offer. Career Management is available to assist students throughout their journey here at WVJC Online. This means from the moment that students enroll, during the duration of their time at WVJC Online, and after students graduate, the career management team can answer any question, assist with job searches, as well as provide continual refresher services for interviewing skills and updating your resume.

Students will be assigned to their career management director at the beginning phases of their program. They will continue to develop that relationship with their career management director throughout their program, so by the time graduation comes, the student has a career plan. If you are in need of career assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brittany Remington, as she will direct you to your assigned career management director.

To learn more about career services or WVJC you can request info HERE!

 

 

Sara Westbrook – Staff Highlight

Sara Westbrook has been an employee of WVJC since April 2019.  She started as an Online Admissions Advisor where she contacted individuals requesting information on our online programs and guided potential students through the admissions, enrollment, and onboarding processes. Sara enjoyed hearing the stories of the people she supported and found it very rewarding to help people find the path to change their lives.

In October 2020, Sara transitioned into her current role of Admissions Coordinator. In this role, she works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting the Online and Morgantown admissions teams through reporting, tracking, inquiry management, and distribution, clerical support, special projects, creative designs, social media, and much more. She thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes and supporting the admissions team. She likes the opportunity to get to know all potential and enrolled students and ensure they have everything they need for a successful start.

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering attending WVJC?” Sara replied, “The teams you will work with (admissions, financial aid, academic, and career services) are outstanding.  They truly care about their students and want to see them succeed.  You will definitely not feel like a number, and it’s nice to know that the faculty and staff are 100% invested in your success!”

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering employment with WVJC?” Sara replied, “You will feel like family from the moment you walk through the door on your first day of work.  I couldn’t ask for a better work family, as some of them have definitely become lifelong friends.”

Sara has grown personally and professionally during the past two years. She emulates our WE CARE core values every day and has proven to be a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We are thrilled to have Sara as a member of the WVJC family.

To learn more about the WVJC admissions team, request information here!

Jenna Miller – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College is Jenna Miller’s first college experience. Currently working as a CNA, Jenna chose the Legal Office Assisting program “to take a different career path.” When Jenna reflected on why she chose WVJC, she stated, “it works with my schedule, and I still have time for my personal life while getting an education.”

WVJC prepares their students for success in and out of the classroom, so much that Jenna said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is having all the resources I need even while being an online student.” Our wonderful instructors actively and consistently do their best to support our students in every way possible. Jenna had this to say about her favorite instructor “Mr. Bryce Adkins (Legal Office Assisting Program Director) is my favorite because he is there when I need something explained or extra help; he’s there no matter the time.”

Jenna began her courses here at WVJC in February 2021. Jenna’s journey won’t stop at WVJC though; she is planning to go back to school to further her education, as well. Despite her high aspirations for the future, Jenna is very excited about the rest of her journey here at WVJC, stating, “the staff members are great, and you can make a schedule that works for you.” Upon graduating from WVJC, Jenna aspires to be “working as a legal assistant for a criminal defense lawyer.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track programs and student-centered learning experience offered by WVJC Online, request information here!

Emily Rock – Student Highlight

Emily Rock is a Business Administration/Accounting student at WVJC Online. Previously a WVU student in their Dental Hygiene program, Emily realized that she did not feel like she was on the path that she wanted her life to go down. She really wanted to find a place where she could be happy, with a supportive community around her. When thinking about how her life has changed, Emily said, “Thankfully, WVJC has been the perfect fit for me and has helped me open up, become more excited to learn, and find a career path that suits my skill set.”

Her transfer was certainly a noticeable and welcome change in her life. “My favorite part of attending WVJC is being able to experience a proper school setting while still being online. Despite never seeing my teachers or classmates face to face, I have felt incredibly close and welcomed by all. I am able to form great connections with everyone to create an environment stronger than an in-person setting, which was so much more than I could ask for. When I first applied to this school, I was not expecting to receive as much support as I did, but I am so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to feel accepted in such a way thanks to WVJC.”

Emily began taking her courses in November 2020 and has gained some favorite instructors during her time with WVJC Online. “Lisa Frank and Dustin Blankenship are both very wonderful teachers that I have been honored to learn from so far in my time with this school.” Though she solely interacts with her instructors online for her program, she still feels just as connected to them. Their support is tangible! “I always was able to have wonderful conversations through email with them and have never been disappointed with any help I have been given. They are both very supportive and motivating teachers. I am fortunate to be able to learn from both of them, as each teacher has left a wonderful impact on me. At the moment, both of my classes are taught by Dustin, which I am thankful for, and I look forward to the next time I am able to interact with Lisa again.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track programs and student-centered learning experience offered by WVJC Online, request information here!