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RCCC revamps IT program

CONCORD — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has recently revamped the information technology program by adding additional courses and technologies.

A few years ago, the college was a leader across the state in changing the way the information technology courses were offered and moved to an umbrella degree program. Now the rest of the state has taken the same umbrella degree approach.

“Since the college had already made many of these changes, Rowan-Cabarrus didn’t have to do a tremendous amount on our end. We also listen very closely to our advisory board, comprised of local industry representatives. They indicated that they wanted to see students with more virtualization experience so we added several virtualization courses as part of our networking specialization track,” said Zackary Hubbard, program chair for the college’s information technology program.

The college’s information technology (IT) program has also embraced the idea of convergence which is gaining more popularity in the field.

“Convergence, increasingly prevalent in the IT world, is the tendency that as technology changes, different technological systems sometimes evolve toward performing similar tasks,” said Hubbard. “Meaning that there is a strong base of skills and knowledge required across all specializations and that those specializations are interacting more and more as technology continues to evolve.”

Rowan-Cabarrus now offers an associate in applied science in information technology with a specialization in one of six fields:

  • Computer programming and development
  • Cyber security
  • Cybercrime and digital forensics
  • Information systems
  • Networking and virtualization
  • Web administration and design

The cybersecurity specialization, in particular, has received national attention. The college recently became officially designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) through academic year 2019, a feat that establishes the college as one of the nation’s academic trailblazers in cybersecurity.

“Our security program was heavily vetted by the National Security Administration and they were particularly impressed with our work to secure articulation agreements with four-year institutions such as Champlain College and Pfeiffer University,” said Hubbard.

Jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the CAE2Y program recognizes colleges and universities that have made significant contributions in meeting the national demand for cyber defense education, developing a number of professionals with cyber defense expertise and ultimately contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure.

Currently, there are only a small number of educational institutions nationwide with this specific designation, and Rowan-Cabarrus is one of only two community colleges in North Carolina. Upon completion of the program, participants will be prepared for careers in both local and national industries such as law enforcement and banking.

The technology programs at Rowan-Cabarrus provide students with a sound understanding of the science, technology and applications essential for successful employment in their respective fields by incorporating the competencies of industry-recognized standards. Graduates of these programs should qualify for employment in entry-level positions with businesses, educational systems and governmental agencies.

In addition to information technology, these programs are available at the Cabarrus Business and Technology Center, including air conditioning, ventilating, heating and refrigeration (HVAC/R), electronics engineering technology, electrical systems technology and construction management technology.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu/apply2017 or call 704-216-7222.

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