Missoula College offers cybersecurity training for everyone
The University of Montana strives to ensure that everyone, regardless of age or place in life, is fully proficient in computer security. Funded by the Montana Legislature in 2021 and hosted at Missoula College, CyberMontana raises cybersecurity awareness across the state. Dave Kuntz, UM’s director of strategic communications, explains.
“For many years now, we’ve been building our cyber and cybersecurity offerings here at the University of Montana, particularly through Missoula College, our two-year entity,” Knutz said. “But starting last year, after the 2021 legislative session, the State of Montana made a significant investment in Missoula College to strengthen cybersecurity offerings, specifically to help raise awareness, provide training, and provide a workforce development pipeline as a status identified the upcoming cyber needs our state needs.
Kuntz then explained some of the resources that UM will provide in the future.
“Whether it’s partnering with the National Guard to ensure our guards in Great Falls and Helena have the tools to respond to a cyber attack, to running camps for first and second graders high school, or to offer a short or two-year degree in cybersecurity, the University of Montana is committed to being the hub to ensure that Montana is able to train enough cybersecurity professionals in coming years to meet growing demand from government and military companies,” Knutz said.
According to Tom Gallagher, Dean of Missoula College, the need for trained cybersecurity professionals at all levels is absolutely critical to protecting Montana businesses and growing our economy.
“Right now, we know there are hundreds of cybersecurity jobs open in Montana and across the region,” Knutz said. “Now, in the future, the University of Montana, through the cyber Montana platform, will be able to help hire students and people who can change careers to be able to develop them so that they have these cybersecurity skills so they can respond to those jobs that are open.”
Kuntz said they want cybersecurity training to be as seamless as possible.
“What we want to create with these platforms is that people don’t have to leave their current job to upskill and get cybersecurity training, the same way we provide training for certain trades such as construction, accounting and other things that Missoula College offers,” Knutz said. “People can go online and take a look and see what’s right for them and their business. But we offer a range of opportunities to ensure that what we can offer best suits the needs and lifestyles of people who wish to take these courses.
Kuntz said CyberMontana also offers professional development courses such as coding bootcamps and personalized cyber training.
“Visit the Missoula College website or you can just Google Cyber Montana to learn more about the different offerings we offer,” Knutz said. “These camps run throughout the summer and fall. There are opportunities that range from working on Montana Cyber Range, which is a virtual resource that allows people to train against cyber defenses, to just taking these 20-30 minute on-demand training modules that can help introduce the subject to people. Go ahead and jump online to find out more.
Kuntz also advocated for community members to learn about password management and how to safely browse Wi-Fi in public places. For more information, visit cybermontana.org.
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