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PJC offering new Cybersecurity degree this fall

Published or Revised July 01, 2019

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PJC Computer Information Systems Instructor Cedric Crawford and Computer Networking Instructor Marjorie Pannell developed the new Cybersecurity program offered at PJC starting in the fall semester.

People are increasingly integrating technology into their lives, including through online shopping or bringing the Internet of Things coming into homes. Every 39 seconds a cyber-attack happens to individuals, small businesses, corporations, and governments. To respond for the all-time high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals, Paris Junior College is offering a new program in Cybersecurity beginning with the fall semester. PJC Computer Information Systems Instructor Cedric Crawford and Computer Networking Instructor Marjorie Pannell developed the curriculum for both a 48-hour Cybersecurity certificate and a 60-hour Associate of Applied Science Degree in Cybersecurity. The instructors say that cybersecurity experts are extremely well compensated for their skills and talents while making the world a safer place. "Technology has no doubt improved our lives for the better," said Crawford, "but our increasing dependency on technology has now made cybersecurity a problem for everyone." According to Intel, an American multinational corporation and technology company, there will be approximately two hundred billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. That’s 26 smart objects for every human on earth. Banking, shopping, and even doctor visits are being conducted online. In 2018, approximately 1.8 billion consumers made online purchases. "When Congressman John Ratcliffe visited our campus a couple of years ago," said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin, "he encouraged me to add a cybersecurity program to help meet our national skills shortage. We immediately began sending current staff to cybersecurity conferences and searched for an instructor to teach in our program. The result is the new cybersecurity program starting this fall with both a certificate and associate's degree." The scarcity of cybersecurity professionals is a crisis itself. This shortage of skilled workers costs companies millions of dollars and placing national security at risk to advanced cyber-attacks. "Incidents of cybercrime have overtaken traditional crime," said Pannell. "Students with a degree in cybersecurity will be in demand for as long as the Internet is around. You will never be bored with a career in cybersecurity. You will always have new challenges, situations and opportunities while learning new skills and new technologies." The U.S. Department of Labor expects job growth for Information Security Analyst to grow at 28 percent through 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Registration for the fall semester is going on now at PJC, with classes starting August 26. For those too busy to enroll during the week, PJC locations in Paris, Greenville and Sulphur Springs will be open for Saturday registration from 10 a.m. to noon on August 3, 10 and 17. To learn more call 903-782-0425 or go to See the degree plans here.