Beginning fall 2020, the Alexandria Technical and Community College will begin offering a new cybersecurity certificate program.

The rigorous 30-credit program will prepare students with the skills needed to evaluate, secure and remediate at-risk computer and networked systems. Graduates will be prepared for employment in computer security related careers, including cybersecurity, network security, information assurance and incident investigation, which are all deemed high-demand fields.

The certificate can be completed online in one year.

With the recent rise in unemployment across the country, many are looking for new opportunities in stable fields, and cybersecurity is an ideal option, according to Jeff Wild, ATCC vice president of advancement and outreach.

“The only program requirement is basic knowledge of computers, which can be learned through additional coursework if needed, making this a great option for working or underemployed adults looking to grow their skills or break into a new field of work,” said Wild.

Virtual open house

On Tuesday, May 19, at noon, the ATCC will be hosting a virtual open house. The event will allow students of all ages to learn more about ATCC’s School of Business and Information Technology programs, including the new cybersecurity certificate program.

Information will also be shared about Transfer Pathway degrees, which offer students the opportunity to earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree locally before transferring to a Minnesota State University.

Registration for the event is available at

New addition to computer science team

Vickie McLain has joined the Computer Science faculty team at ATCC, bringing more than 18 years of experience to the role.

McLain has experience teaching students from 7th grade to adult age. Well-renowned in the cybersecurity community, McLain has spoken at several national GenCyber conferences sponsored by the National Security Administration.

As the principal investigator for a Cybersecurity Workforce Education grant, McLain designed mini businesses for students to develop their cybersecurity skills in a realistic setting. As a result of this work, the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed a new national initiative to encourage colleges to educate students in a way that simulates their future working environment.