SMCC Cyber Security program designated as National Center of Academic Excellence

Southern Maine Community College’s Cyber Security program is being recognized for academic excellence in preparing the next generation of cyber security professionals.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified SMCC that it has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2024. The NSA and the DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence program.

“This designation recognizes the quality of our Cyber Security program in preparing students for careers in the growing information security industry,” said SMCC President Joe Cassidy. “Nobody is immune from cyberattacks, and SMCC is committed to producing professionals with cyber defense expertise to protect and reduce the vulnerability of our nation’s information systems.”

SMCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Cyber Security that prepares students for career opportunities that include information security analyst, incident responder, network security engineer, chief information security officer, information security architect and forensics analyst. For more information, visit SMCC’s Cyber Security webpage.

The U.S. has a critical shortage of professionals with cyber security skills, and higher education programs play a vital role in defending America’s cyberspace, the Centers for Academic Excellence program manager said in a letter to Wendy Plourde, chair of SMCC’s Cyber Security program.

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure,” the letter reads.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of information security jobs was projected to grow 28 percent nationally from 2016-2026, far higher than the average growth rate of 7 percent for all occupations.