Oxnard College has established a new Cybersecurity Program that provides graduates with a certificate approved by the California Community Colleges’ State Chancellor’s Office. Starting with the spring 2021 semester, the program will train students to help protect computer networks from internal and external attacks and properly respond to security breaches that inevitably occur, paving the way to lucrative and in-demand career options. Eligible full-time students can attend the program tuition-free by utilizing the Oxnard College Promise Program.

“Oxnard College is proud to launch our new Cybersecurity Program,” shared Luis Sanchez, president of Oxnard College. “This program will train students for high-paying jobs that are available now. There is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals not only in our region but all over the globe, and this training will help our graduates build secure and comfortable lives for themselves and their families.”

The salary range for a cybersecurity analyst is $57,810 to $158,860 with a median annual wage of $99,730, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² stated that in order to meet the needs of America’s fast-growing businesses, the cybersecurity workforce will need to increase by 62 percent, meaning the job market for this field will continue to expand with workers being in high demand ((ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019).

The program’s curriculum was developed in partnership with an advisory council of networking and cybersecurity professionals who were intent on providing students with hands-on training and interdisciplinary expertise.

“Now more than ever, organizations and businesses need help protecting their infrastructure and digital assets,” said Alex Lynch, professor of computer networking/IT at Oxnard College. “We at Oxnard College want to equip cybersecurity trainees with the certifications we know are valued in the industry and which will help fill the increasing need companies have to protect their networks and data. This program is streamlined to help students train for cybersecurity careers in a reasonably short timeframe while learning the essential skills of the cybersecurity industry.”

The new certificate program consists of a foundation-level course that covers essential computer networking/IT skills, such as learning Cisco CCNA or CompTIA Network+, followed by courses mapped to specific cybersecurity certifications such as CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA PenTest+.  In these courses, students will learn how to guard computer networking systems against internal and external threats while gaining hands-on experience configuring firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems and virtual private networks (VPNs). In the program’s PenTest+ course, students will learn how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities so they can be patched before a hacker has the opportunity to cause a security breach. This specific skillset is called “white hat” or “ethical hacking,” and it prepares students for a job as a cybersecurity penetration tester.

For more information regarding cybersecurity careers and salaries, visit:

1. https://www.comptia.org/blog/your-next-move-security-analyst

2. https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html

3. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm Open registration for the spring semester at Oxnard College starts Nov. 19, and classes begin Jan. 11, 2021. For information regarding Oxnard College’s new Cybersecurity Program and courses offered, visit the program’s website or contact Professor Alex Lynch at alynch@vcccd.edu or (805) 678-5061.