What’s it like to work in cybersecurity? What are the job prospects in the field, and how are organizations preparing their enterprises from being compromised? Those questions were the anchors for Naugatuck Valley Community College’s “Careers in Cybersecurity,” talk hosted on its Waterbury Campus with live feed to the Danbury campus on February 26. Leading the discussion were Colin Eccles, EVP & Chief Information Officer, and Damian Laviolette, Chief Information Security Officer, both of Webster Bank. The two were among the team of local industry leaders who helped inform the curriculum for NVCC’s cybersecurity program, which is now in its second year of preparing students with skills that are in high demand.
NVCC’s Lisa Dresdner, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Affairs welcomed the speakers, students, faculty, staff, and community members present. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. recalled the history of the program and how the College worked with Webster Bank and community partners to guide the development of relevant curriculum through an Industry Sector Summit and formation of a curriculum advisory council. The cybersecurity program at NVCC is now in its second successful year of preparing NVCC students with a set of highly-sought after and relevant skills for today’s evolving job market.
As Eccles and Laviolette spoke to a standing-room only crowd in NVCC’s Technology Hall and to students who joined via video conference from the College’s Danbury campus, they addressed the growing need for trained cybersecurity professionals as companies and governments continue to grapple with attacks and compromised data. On a national-scale, cybersecurity is steadily cited as a top concern for CEOs and the demand for qualified candidates is not commensurate with the number of graduates ready to work in the field. This imbalance is creating unprecedented opportunities marked by competitive salaries, staggeringly low unemployment rates, high job security, and one where students interested in the field are being recruited as early as high school to begin working. Laviolette’s interactive presentation allowed the room of enthusiastic students to receive an overview of how organizations such as Webster Bank are addressing their security needs and informed them of the possible opportunities for internships and jobs. The presentation also engaged students in various animated question and answer sessions focused on industry trends throughout Laviolette’s presentation. Students, who will be on the job market soon, were able to ask Eccles and Laviolette about the best ways to prepare themselves with soft skills, certifications, and additional studies.
NVCC’s program prepares students for entry level positions in cybersecurity and computer crime deterrence. It also prepares students for successful transfer to other institutions of higher education, including Charter Oak State College’s cybersecurity bachelor’s program. For more information, visit nv.edu/cybersecurity.