How cyber and information technology became a “suitable for everyone” career path


Some enter the course with a natural predisposition for technology. Others come with novice capability with a keyboard. One of them has a college degree in arts. Another is trained in Web Design. They are full-time mothers, teachers and recent high school graduates. They all share the same aspiration: to launch a career in information technology (IT) and cyber.

“I heard about the Forge Institute from my great-aunt, who attended the Arkansas Rural Development Conference in October of last year,” said Meagan, a recent Forge Institute IT Fundamentals graduate. Schedule. “There she met Mr. Charles Landrum, Director of Grants and Community Management in the office of US Congressman Rick Crawford, and asked him about the grants available to people living in the Delta. Soon after, he emailed her information about this program.

“I decided to apply for the IT/Cyber ​​Fundamentals course because I wanted to get into a career that was in high demand,” said Tyler, another recent graduate of the program.

Like many Arkansans, Tyler had become intrigued by the economic promise of IT/Cyber, with services expected to reach a valuation of $87 billion by 2025. The demand for skilled and well-trained IT professionals is increasing, and programs like the IT/Cyber ​​Foundation courses at Forge Institute are filling up. Those who complete the training find that the lessons learned and skills acquired open various doors.

“My next step is to merge my BA in Theater Arts, my IT/Cyber ​​Fundamentals certificate, and my love for forensics,” said Shelia, who also recently completed the training.

The IT/Cyber ​​Fundamentals program appeals to all kinds of people because the industry itself applies to all kinds of skills, personalities, and career goals. An IT person can no longer be thought of as a code-muttering introvert locked in a closet full of servers. Rather, IT and cybersecurity professionals are problem solvers who are dedicated to serving as a conduit between people, data, and technology.

“Arkansasians are computer-friendly because they’re not intimidated by technology,” said Scott Anderson, executive director of the Forge Institute. “The Arkansans are adapting. We are intuitive. And we recognize a good opportunity when we see one. As the world goes digital, IT professionals will only see their value increase. »

While IT professionals are in demand, their value increases with their body of knowledge. That’s why it’s important to receive instructor-led training from cyberspace veterans with real-world experience. After all, cyber is constantly evolving. Yesterday’s challenges are rarely relevant case studies for today’s cyber landscape.

Meagan agreed. “The world of computing is constantly changing and I know I have to evolve with it,” she said. “I can do that by always being ready to learn more. I am also interested in gaining as much work experience as possible.

Shelia echoed that sentiment, noting the depth of the Computer Fundamentals curriculum. “This program introduced me to many aspects of cybersecurity, giving me the opportunity to focus on what appeals to me – cybercrime.”

While there are a number of information technology courses available online, Forge Institute’s IT/Cyber ​​Fundamentals course provides students with one-on-one access to seasoned cyber professionals. The course covers six different areas of computing and cyber, providing the basic knowledge on which participants can continue to grow. Topics range from cybersecurity and network administration to operating systems and troubleshooting.

“Our mantra is ‘Always One Step Ahead,’” Anderson said. The transformation we see in people like Meagan and Shiela is incredibly rewarding. They will leave an impact on this world.

The Forge Institute, based in Little Rock, provides training in cybersecurity, data science and emerging technologies for business teams and individuals looking to advance their careers. For more information on its academic programs, visit the website.


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