Two years ago Sho Harris was working at a warehouse, taking classes at Laney, and trying to figure out what to do with his life when he spotted Merritt’s new Cybersecurity Program in the class schedule. Today he has a full-time job at FireEye, one of the top cybersecurity companies in the world. “I was attracted by the chance to learn computer skills and also have a paid internship. It was an intense, fast-paced program with excellent teachers and helpful fellow students which made the process easier. I wake up every day feeling blessed.”
It’s rare to look at the news today and not see an article about computer hacking. This new high-tech problem has created a dire need for cybersecurity to prevent computers, networks, programs and data from change or destruction. Today there is a desperate search for more than 200,000 skilled cybersecurity employees, and the numbers are growing. Predicting this need more than two years ago, Merritt College, along with a team of security executives from Silicon Valley, created a curriculum to train students in helping with this worldwide problem. The Applications & Infrastructure Security Program, with instructors from industry and with hands-on internships.
Although she had worked in technology services for the Oakland school district, the first computer class Sandy Keh ever took was Merritt’s Intro to Computer Science. She was then encouraged to continue in the Cybersecurity Program, and she’s glad she did. “This is a life-changing program for anyone interested in technology. The support I received from the first moment has been invaluable to me. Anyone interested in the field would benefit from it.”
Will Weekes was studying psychology at Cal State East Bay when he decided that he wanted a more hands-on career in technology. He started learning the gaming industry then heard about Merritt’s Cybersecurity program and what a high demand field it was. “It’s a challenge, but the market is hot, and there will always be a need for security. The instructors are really passionate about what they do.”
Hamza Rouili, who had a hobby of fixing computers and a dream to learn more, finally found his chance. “I saw Courtney Brown’s video on the website and it looked like just what I wanted. I didn’t have a lot of experience, but the classes are surrounded by people who care about making sure you succeed.”