PVCC Holds Cybersecurity Day Oct. 11

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Cybersecurity Day at PVCC Cybersecurity Day at PVCC
Cybersecurity Day at PVCC Cybersecurity Day at PVCC
Richard Seweryniak Richard Seweryniak
Shawn Talmadge Shawn Talmadge

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) held its first Cybersecurity Day Thursday. The free event was designed to encourage people to pursue careers in the field. PVCC currently offers a career studies certificate in cybersecurity, which takes approximately two semesters to complete.

Right now, the commonwealth is leading the world in cybersecurity: More than 35,000 cybersecurity jobs are unfilled in Virginia alone.

Speakers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, WillowTree, the Albemarle County Police Department and other businesses explained what a day is like in the field of a cybersecurity professional, as well as some of the education requirements the job entails.

"It really deals with people who understand and love puzzles. So they like figuring out how things work, and then also trying to secure each individual element of the whole process," PVCC Cybersecurity Program Director Richard Seweryniak said.

Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security Shawn Talmadge said he wants students to understand the different kinds of jobs that exist within the broad cybersecurity umbrella.

“It’s more than just a single computer. You know, our computer systems are very complex and diverse. Everything from hardware to software, to maybe public outreach in terms of, ‘hey we need to design better cybersecurity awareness programs,’” he said.

Some PVCC students in the school's cybersecurity program shared their recent portfolio presentations, and prospective students heard an overview of the program’s requirements.

“Piedmont Virginia Community College is leading the way with hands-on technology for students, so that way they actually get the experience of working with the computers and the systems,” said Seweryniak.

PVCC officials say they plan to hold a similar event next year, to continue to open up doors to students who have an interest in cybersecurity.