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In 2001, articles in several technology journals underscored the shortage of qualified security professionals who understood information assurance (IA) concepts. At the time, only a handful of universities offered academic programs in IA, and those were at the masters and doctoral levels. Although a few colleges had classes that covered IA topics, no undergraduate-level programs existed. Continual training and education are necessary to manage the ever-evolving technologies of computer systems and network administration, which place increasingly heavy demands on public and private entities. New positions open frequently for qualified applicants in IA, sometimes forcing existing employees to step into the job of maintaining secure and available computer infrastructures to support their organizations. To help address the ongoing need for security training; several US community colleges have stepped up to develop academic programs over the past several years. This article presents the case for IA training at that level, setting the stage for further examination of the particular challenges that it entails.
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2005