HENRY COUNTY, Va. – The Career Academy in Henry County is preparing students for the workforce through various programs, including a new one, aimed at protecting personal information.
The cybersecurity program is designed to give students a head start, while filling a need.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow by more than 30% over the next decade.
“This gives students the opportunity to advance their knowledge or go straight to the workforce,” said Mike Minter, director of Career and Technical Education and Career Academy. “We all know, the workforce is in need of students who have skills and are ready to go to that next level and we get them ready.”
Students learn to ethically hack into computers, drones and robotic arms, then work to figure out how to keep it from happening.
They will also compete against other schools and colleges in the region through the Virginia Cyber Range.
The school also has a working farm, giving students an introduction to agriculture and veterinary sciences.
It also has HVAC and industrial maintenance programs.
To learn the skills, students work on refrigeration units, as well as video games, which use some of the same technology.
The academy also has a cosmetology program, where students get hands-on experience by partnering with local retirement communities.
After finishing the program, students are prepared to take the state licensing exam.
The Career Academy has a success rate of 85% with students either entering the workforce or continuing their training or entering higher education.