This fall, conversations emerged in Buffalo between our Houghton site on the East Side, the Buffalo Public Schools, and others to identify opportunities to help young people find their way into jobs in areas like cybersecurity, software development, and data science. Houghton already has exceptional degree programs in data science and computer science, so this was a natural conversation to have.
Jobs available in the technology field are significant. A recent search of positions posted just over the last month (focusing on locations within an hour or two of Houghton’s main campus) returned over 50,000 results. These jobs were not just available in big cities like Buffalo and Rochester, but were scattered all over the region, including towns like Batavia and Dansville.
In terms of higher education, the results are similar in the aftermath of COVID-19. Gray and Associates recently indicated that demand for programs in computer programming was up 150% over last year. It was the program that had seen the highest increase in demand since COVID hit. Computer science also made the top five, up 67% over the previous year. Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review predicts that there will be demand for some 3.5 million jobs in cybersecurity by 2021.
Into this context, conversations have developed between Houghton and several others. As a result, we are piloting two 16-week online courses this spring. These can be taken by a wide variety of individuals, ranging from high school students, to college students, to individuals who just want to see if this area might be something they would like to pursue. The courses are:
- Security and Networking Foundations – an introductory course to cybersecurity, covering basics like threat actors and network protocols
These modules could be the first step for students toward certificates in software development and cybersecurity. If the pilots go well, you can expect to see more courses in these series. With a weekly live session option and ongoing asynchronous discussions in the Houghton courses, it’s hard to imagine an easier way to jump into the waters of tech training.
To apply for The Basics of Web Coding, fill out the online application form using this information:
- Course Prefix: CSCI
- Course Number: 195A
To apply for Security and Networking Foundations, fill out the online application form using this information:
- Course Prefix: CSCI
- Course Number: 195B
For more information about Houghton’s online offerings, visit Houghton.edu/online.