(SEE PHOTOS) For the Second Annual Cyber Security Program Career & Employer Day on March 23, the enthusiastic audience in Merritt’s Student Lounge was made up of everyone who should have an interest in this issue: students, faculty, administrators, employers, politicians, and community members.Program
For the second year, the event was planned to showcase Merritt’s Cybersecurity Program and give students and employers the chance to meet and talk about career opportunities. The event was highlighted by a visit from Congressman Ro Khanna, whose 17th District includes Silicon Valley, who is a big proponent of Merritt’s program. He spoke to the crowd, led a panel discussion on how to address the security staffing crisis, and met with a group of students who are Facebook interns, !BANGNULLs officers, and CodePath TAs. Other prominent speakers included District Chancellor Jowel LaGuerre, Merritt President Marie-Elaine Burns, and Shonda Scott CEO of 360 Total Concept who served as emcee.
Topics of other panel discussions included information security skills required for staff in the future, moderated by Program Co-Founder Mark Egan, and how to put together a winning team for the NCL competition, moderated by faculty member Courtney Brown.
After the conference activities, students and employers got together for a mutually beneficial “meet and greet” which will hopefully be the start to help solve the cyber staffing crisis. The successful conference was presented by Cybersecurity Program creators Mark Egan, a Partner at StrataFusion, and Jim Cates,President of LOBI Group, LLC, along with Program Director Anita Black, Faculty Member Courtney Brown, and others on the planning commitee.
The Cybersecurity Program at Merritt was created two years ago by Merritt faculty and security executives from the Silicon Valley CISE group who predicted the increase in cybersecurity jobs and worked with Merritt to plan the fully accredited Applications and Infrastructure Security Program. The program,leads students to Associate’s Degrees in either one of those specializations.