Austin Community College Announces Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree

Austin Community College noted the projected growth in local cybersecurity jobs in announcing its new bachelor's degree program, which will launch in the fall.
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Published on May 5, 2023
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  • Austin Community College in Texas will launch a cybersecurity bachelor's degree program in fall 2023.
  • School officials noted the projected rise in cybersecurity jobs over the next decade.
  • The degree program will feature flexible learning options and will aim to be accessible to all students, according to a release.
  • Government officials and major employers alike have looked to community colleges to combat a national cybersecurity skill shortage in recent years.

With cybersecurity jobs in high demand across the country, Austin Community College (ACC) plans to launch a new bachelor of applied science in cybersecurity degree program this fall.

The cybersecurity bachelor's program will feature flexible options for students, according to an Austin Community College release, including hybrid, in-person, and distance learning.

Cybersecurity is in high demand both locally and across the country, with a 44% growth projected in Central Texas over the next 10 years, according to the release.

Austin Community College received a $1,467,542 federal earmark for cybersecurity training and equipment, BestColleges reported earlier this year.

Government officials and employers alike have looked to community colleges to fill a nationwide cybersecurity workforce in recent years, BestColleges previously reported. Google provides community colleges with free access to its career certificates program, and Microsoft plans to recruit 250,000 people into the field of cybersecurity by 2025 via partnerships with community colleges across the country.

ACC is committed to working with local industry partners to ensure we prepare more individuals to respond to this vast need, Austin Community College Provost Monique Umphrey said in the release. We understand that we need top talent from diverse backgrounds and life experiences to address growing cybersecurity challenges.

Umphrey said Austin can be known as a hub for inclusive IT and underscored the importance of making the degree program accessible to all students.

We support people from diverse backgrounds, including those who are neurodivergent, Umphrey said. We are designing this degree to be welcoming to all and more integrated into the technology community here.

Two dozen states offered bachelor's degree programs at community colleges as of a 2021 New America study. West Virginia was the first state to authorize baccalaureate degrees at community colleges in 1989.

BestColleges previously reported that students who earn their bachelor's degrees at community colleges were more likely to be from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, first-generation students, or from low-income households.

With the growth of the virtual world, the demand for skilled workers in cybersecurity is more critical than ever before, Austin Community College Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes said in the release.

It is vital we provide the right training to develop the skills for these high-paying careers. This new bachelor's degree gives us the opportunity to provide a more accessible pathway at a fraction of the cost.