HGTC starts new cybersecurity program to keep up with job demand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW)- This school year, the State General Assembly allocated Horry Georgetown Technical College $400,000 in career training scholarships that will be assigned to the first new students who claim them.

The money is for fast training of trades workers and high-tech professionals. According to HGTC’s website, anyone who is unemployed or under-employed may qualify because employees in welding, robotics, plumbing, HVAC, cybersecurity and other fields hard to find in the current job market.

That scholarship money and demand from local employers prompted HGTC to develop a new cybersecurity and plumbing program for this school year.

“There’s a real demand out there for how can we get people qualified to fill jobs out there to protect the severs or email servers that we have,” Professor Stan Greenawalt said.

Greenawalt said people don’t realize that just using a smartphone, tablet or GPS makes them vulnerable to a cyber attack. He says what happened at Horry County schools last year is a prime example of the dangers.

“Even our school system had an issue with it recently and we’ll even discuss that and discuss recent examples and show students how to defend against that.”

It’s that hands-on training along with the new scholarship money that professors and students say will set HGTC apart.

“So there’s a lot of money out there. If the students come in and they meet the need requirements that they can apply. As long as they’re taking the per-requieste courses, they’re going to get financial support for that. So now they get this at a really good price and financial support and then make themselves marketable for a job outside,” Greenawalt said.

“I think it’ll really set be ahead of the class before other people because they prepare you for so much stuff that I know other places really don’t let you know and really show you about,” Student Markell Lee said.

Lee looks to complete his program next year and says having the ability to attend a two-year program initially has helped him be more successful.

“When you’re taking these classes in two years, you really learn more I feel here and they teach you more.”

HGTC professors say they are constantly updating their curriculum based on skills needed and what employers say they’re looking for.

For details, contact Pat Kleber in Continuing Education at 843-477-2191 or financialaid@hgtc.edu at 843-349-5251.

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