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Pikes Peak Community College forms partnership for cybersecurity certification

September 14, 2016 Updated: September 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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photo - Pikes Peak Community College
Pikes Peak Community College 

The same old story is being rewritten.

Companies are bringing more cybersecurity jobs to Colorado Springs, but there aren't enough skilled workers to fill the slots.

"A lot of the fast-track training courses are in Denver," said Karen Kovaly, spokeswoman for Pikes Peak Community College.

But now there's a homegrown program.

PPCC announced Wednesday that it's expanding cybersecurity offerings with two new courses that specifically prepare students for an industry-standard exam.

People who have taken some related coursework, or who have been working in information technology meet the enrollment qualifications.

"Students who take one or both of these courses and pass the exam can get a good job in the field," Kovaly said.

How good?

Jobs as security specialist, security consultant, security administrator, systems administrator and network administration, with a starting pay range of $70,000 to $84,000, according to Kovaly.

Jobs are available with government contractors, insurance companies, medical businesses, hardware and software firms and corporate cybersecurity companies.

Kovaly said there are some 100 openings in cybersecurity in Colorado Springs.

"These new classes get students from the classroom to these valuable jobs in record time," said PPCC President Lance Bolton.

PPCC is partnering the Denver-based cyber firm SecureSet to provide the classes, which will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 18 through Dec. 13 at the Rampart Range Campus, 11195 Highway 83.

The classes are designed for working IT professionals or experienced hobbyists who want to prepare in a hands-on lab setting for the certification exam the National Security Administration requires.

PPCC also offers a cybersecurity certificate as part of its Computer Networking Technology associate degree.

To register for the new courses:

- Security+, go to ppcc.edu/securityplus (cost $2,499)

- Network+, go to ppcc.edu/network (cost $1,499)

Military and veterans receive a $500 discount.

PPCC also is hosting monthly Cybersecurity Capture the Flag Computer Security Exercises free to the public.

The first one will be 6-9 p.m. Monday at the Centennial Campus, 5675 S. Academy Blvd., Room PA-358.

No registration is required, a light dinner will be served, and participants are asked to bring a laptop, if possible. For more information, contact Gretchen.Bliss@ppcc.edu.

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