McHenry: Cybersecurity ‘Program Prepares Students to Go Into the Workforce Directly or Transfer to a University’
Oklahoma City Community College’s Cyber/Information Security (CIS) program is among the best in the state that provides students with intensive hands-on experience and cutting-edge knowledge to get them ready for the job market.
The CIS program at OCCC is recognized as the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA).
“Our CIS program prepares students to go into the workforce directly or transfer to a university to continue with a bachelor’s degree,” said Jon McHenry, Professor of Cyber Security at OCCC.
Students when taking courses in the CIS program can also work toward the CompTIA and Cisco certificates using knowledge taught in class.
McHenry said when completing specific courses students can study a little more and then take the certification exams associated with those courses.
The Cyber Club
The Cyber Club is a student organization that was founded in 2012. The club provides students with an interest in CIS to share their knowledge with other fellows and participate in cybersecurity-related activities.
“The club had organized many actives, including hosting sessions about resume writing and interview strategies, inviting industry speakers to give talks about cybersecurity-related topics, touring 4-year universities that are OCCC transfer partners, and participating in cybersecurity competitions,” Haifeng Ji, Professor of Computer Science and the OCCC Cyber Club’s coach, said.
Ji noted the club’s activities are being affected by the pandemic.
“Because students’ schedules are different, it has been difficult to get a group of students to attend a meeting at the same time,” Ji said. “We have been mainly focusing on the National Cyber League competition recently since students can work on the competition on their own schedules.”
The Cyber Club’s students have participated in the National Cyber League competition every semester since Fall 2017.
“Even students who are new to cybersecurity can learn from the competition because the Gymnasium component of the competition provides a self-learning environment for all students,” said Ji.
According to the National Cyber League official website, there are 42 students from OCCC that have participated in the competition – rank number two in the state.
In the Fall 2019 season, the OCCC Cyber Club team won 6th place nationwide in the category of exploiting wireless network weakness.
Anyone interested in Cyber Club or National Cyber League competition can contact computer science professor Haifeng Ji at [email protected]