NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Ginny Person Communications, Marketing & Research Manager Prince William County Department of Economic Development Email: gperson@pwcgov.org | Phone: 703.792.5500

Two Prince William County-based Institutes of Higher Education Create New Pathways to Cybersecurity Learning

December 20, 2016 – Prince William County, Va. –  Two Prince William County-based Higher Education Institutes - Northern Virginia Community College and ECPI University - have announced brand new programs to enhance expanded learning in the field of cybersecurity.

Firstly, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with two campuses located in Prince William County, received a $100,000 grant from the Capital One Foundation to help develop the Cybersecurity Career Pathways Project that will inform and support middle and high school students in the Northern Virginia Region who wish to explore and hopefully pursue a career in cybersecurity.

Secondly, ECPI University’s Northern Virginia campus has expanded its program offerings to include a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a Bachelor of Science in Software Development.  The project aims to entice a future generation of cybersecurity workers and eventually fill a regional and national skills gap.

NOVA will be working as part of a cohort of 14 community colleges in D.C., Maryland, New York and Texas to develop some thematic areas of focus in relation to labor-market data and career pathways to create a pilot program with two Prince William County public high schools—Forest Park and Potomac—both chosen due to their high level of diversity and for the large number of students from underserved populations.

“We’re addressing industry needs early on,” said Steve Partridge, NOVA’s Vice President of Workforce Development. “We are working with the Capital One Foundation to address the high-skill need in Northern Virginia.  By increasing high school students’ exposure to these career fields early, locking in their interest and giving them tracks to run on to get them fully credentialed and ready to go upon graduation!”

“Prince William County provides cyber and information security companies excellent workforce and infrastructure in close proximity to federal agencies and military facilities engaged in combating cyber threats,” said Jeffrey Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development.  “These new programs further leverage our ability to deliver a robust talent pipeline of highly-skilled workers to meet or exceed the rising demand for IT and cybersecurity professionals.”

ECPI University’s decision to expand its offerings comes on the heels of Governor’s Terry McAuliffe’s recent call for a greater effort to draw more people towards careers in cyber and network security.  Both professions are in great demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with employment of software developers projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024 - much faster than the average for all occupations.  Demand for information security analysts is also on the rise. Consequently, the need for computer and information systems managers is growing as well, with employment of computer and information systems managers projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Long recognized for its quality workforce, Prince William County already lays claim to a growing, highly educated, highly-skilled and diverse talent pool.  Over 40 percent of the County’s population over the age of 18 holds at least an Associate’s degree.  Its workforce is supported by a robust K-12 school system, tertiary, technical and vocational institutions, as well as workforce development initiatives with curricula developed in close consultation with the business community.  As a result, the number of jobs resident in Prince William County has grown steadily and appreciably over time and is expected to outpace regional job growth.

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • Located less than 20 miles from the nation’s capital, Prince William County encompasses a total area of 348 square miles.
  • IT related companies located in the Prince William County area include: Advanced Concepts Research Group; Analytical Consulting Group; BAE Systems; Comcast; General Dynamics Information Technology; Little Arms Studios; Lockheed-Martin; MAG Aerospace; Micron Technology; Microsoft; Microsystem; Mu-Del Electronics; NAL Research; 03B Networks; OPTiMO; Verint Systems; and Verizon, to name a few.
  • Some 52,000 people work in “computer occupations” within a 30-minute drive of Prince William County.
  • National Security Agency designated Certified Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, include: George Mason University’s Center for Security Information Systems (CSIS); and NOVA.

 

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The Prince William County Department of Economic Development offers services to support and promote existing business expansion and attract new businesses to PWC. For more information, the Department of Economic Development can be reached via email at econdev@pwcgov.org, via phone at (703) 792-5500, or via fax at (703) 792-5502.