ACC launches new bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity

New program would be the college’s 4th bachelor’s degree and second in the IT sector

Austin Community College District (ACC) prepares to launch the college’s fourth bachelor’s degree program to help fill growing workforce gaps in the industry. The new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Cybersecurity is designed to help working professionals in cybersecurity prepare for more advanced career roles.

“With the growth of the virtual world, the demand for skilled workers in cybersecurity is more critical than ever before,” says ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. “It is vital we provide the right training to develop the skills for these high-paying careers. This new bachelor’s degree gives us the opportunity to provide a more accessible pathway at a fraction of the cost.”

Cybersecurity remains one of the most in-demand careers in Central Texas, with 44 percent growth expected over the next 10 years locally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Austin metro area is the ninth biggest metropolitan in the country for cybersecurity careers. Texas Labor Market Information found that the median salary is more than  $120,000 annually.

“ACC is committed to working with local industry partners to ensure we prepare more individuals to respond to this vast need. We understand that we need top talent from diverse backgrounds and life experiences to address growing cybersecurity challenges,” says Dr. Monique Umphrey, ACC provost. “Austin can be known as a hub for inclusive IT. We support people from diverse backgrounds, including those who are neurodivergent. We are designing this degree to be welcoming to all and more integrated into the technology community here.”

ACC’s Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program is uniquely designed for professionals with a related associate degree, including those transitioning directly to a four-year degree or those in the workforce. The program offers flexible learning options with face-to-face, hybrid, and distance education classes across the district. 

According to local market data, hundreds of positions remain unfilled due to missing credentials. The curriculum for the BAS in Cybersecurity is developed with input from an industry advisory committee to ensure students in the program gain the skills necessary for careers available now. Students also are eligible to obtain one or more additional cybersecurity certifications for specialized positions. 

The program is expected to launch in fall 2023 with the first cohort of up to 60 students. Details on information sessions will be released as times are finalized.

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