New program would be the college’s 4th bachelor’s degree and second in the IT sector
Austin Community College District (ACC) prepares to launch the college’s fourth bachelor’s degree program. The college’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposed new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Cybersecurity during its regular meeting Thursday, November 16.
“With the growth of the virtual world, the demand for skilled workers in cybersecurity is more critical than ever before,” says ACC Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes. “It is vital we provide the right training to develop the skills for these high-paying careers. This new bachelor’s degree gives us the opportunity to provide a more accessible pathway at a fraction of the cost.”
Cybersecurity remains one of the most in-demand careers, with 44 percent growth over the next 10 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Austin metro area is the ninth biggest metropolitan in the country for cybersecurity careers. Texas Labor Market Information found the mean income is about $120,000 per year.
“The real key for us is to build a more inclusive IT community. We’re doing as many things as we can to get more integrated,” says Dr. Monique Umphrey, ACC provost. “Austin can be known as a hub for inclusive IT. We are designing this degree to be welcoming to all and more integrated into the technology community here.”
The BAS in Cybersecurity is designed for professionals who already have a related associate degree, including those who transition directly to a four-year degree or those in the workforce. Flexibility remains ACC’s top priority, providing online, in-person, and hybrid course options.
According to local market data, hundreds of positions remain unfilled due to missing credentials. Curriculum for the BAS in Cybersecurity is developed with input from an industry advisory committee to ensure students in the program gain the skills necessary for careers available now. Students also will obtain one or more additional cybersecurity certifications for specialized positions.
With ACC Board approval now complete, the program will head to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for approval. If approved, the program is expected to launch in fall 2023 with the first cohort of up to 60 students.
Explore all ACC programs in Computer Science and IT at austincc.edu/computerscience.