JWCC to offer new computer science classes

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:34 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - John Wood Community College is offering a new computer science certification this fall to help meet local demand. The classes will deal with technical help desk and cybersecurity for students looking to expand their skills.

Instructor Michael Wells said they already offer foundational computer science classes. The new courses will build on top of those basic skills, with subjects like cryptography and advanced math. Wells said they’ll work to give students experience dealing with network problems.

“We are actually going to be using mostly simulated labs for this so the idea is that it’s hands on, but it’s simulated because at the end of the day our IT department doesn’t really want us to be messing with computer networks or handling serious hacker attacks on our actual real network so we are doing everything simulated,” Wells said.

He said the cybersecurity and IT course takes one semester and prepares students to take the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

JWCC officials said local businesses can benefit from the expanded course offering. Business and Computer Science Department Chair Devron Sternke said the idea for offering the expanded courses came after talking with local businesses and hearing of the need for certified IT professionals.

He said the need to protect data and networks is a critical one.

“If you lose your computer network now a days, you don’t often have the paper to fall back on so a ransomware attack on a business would be pretty devastating right now so giving the students the ability to not only work in the field of cybersecurity but also in our intro to computer classes, we give them the fundamental knowledge they need,” Sternke said.

Sternke said the cybersecurity job industry has a projected growth of 27% over the next four years.

He said someone with a certification and hands on experience will be attractive to local companies due to the fact they’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Registration for classes opens March 27, and the classes start in the fall.

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