Cybersecurity talent twist: Instructor shortage ‘biggest challenge’ at Wake Tech
RALEIGH – Wake Tech has a recognized cybersecurity program, designated as the National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency until 2025.
It is the second largest program at the community university, according to Dr. Scott Ralls, president of Wake Tech.
But like many organizations right now, the program is hampered by a shortage of talent.
“I think it would be our first if we could have more cyber instructors,” Dr. Ralls said. “This is the biggest challenge for us.”
Dr. Ralls spoke about the shortage of instructors on stage at the NC TECH State of the Technology Conference earlier this week. While talking about the instructor gap, a QR code with a link to Wake Tech Assistant Professor Page appeared on the screen behind him.
“If anyone wants to teach attachment at Wake Tech in IT right now, here it is, click on this QR code,” Dr. Ralls told the audience. “Because that’s the limit right now, what we can do is have faculty, especially adjunct faculty.”
Wake Tech is North Carolina’s largest community college system, serving more than 70,000 students annually on seven campuses and two training centers.
Critical rural need for cybersecurity talent
Dra. Ralls spoke alongside Dra. Pamela Gibson Senegal, President of Piedmont Community College (PCC). The firefight was facilitated by NC TECH President and CEO Brooks Raiford.
Dr. Senegal also spoke about cybersecurity, referring to the CCP’s association with Fayetteville Tech, which supports instructors who are leaving military careers and who rely on military-grade cyber defense credentials.
“What Fayetteville Tech has been able to do is really build up a group of cybersecurity instructors, and as a speaking institution, as Piedmont Community College will be, it allows us to have access to instructors and knowledge that we wouldn’t necessarily have locally,” he said. Dr. Senegal.
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He also referred to the critical need for cybersecurity talent in rural communities, citing the latest ransomware programs against small municipalities, which he said are considered “soft targets”.
“We have business people calling for this need, among our county government, among our public schools, among our city officials,” Dr. Senegal. “The need for cybersecurity talent in our rural community is impressive.”
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According to Dr. Ralls, Wake Tech’s software programs served nearly 5,400 students last semester, with a large number of African American women, veterans, and students.
“We are more diverse for our computer programs than the county, in terms of population,” Dr. Ralls.
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He also described the community college’s mission to help students move “through” Wake Tech, and described Wake Tech as a “scale school” that can help students move through opportunities in college. laws and four-year universities in the region.
“This region has thrived because the highest technology is a magnet for people across the country to reach out to our higher education area,” said Dr. Ralls. “But what we’re fighting for here is for people to move on to some of these same roles from some of our neighborhoods here in our own region.”
“So we want students to be able to start where they are and go as high as the ladder can go,” Dr. Ralls said, “and in this region, it’s a very high ladder.”
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