Cybersecurity and Computer Technology:
All in a School Day’s Work at BOCES

Yorktown Heights — Today’s high school students soak up technology, so it is not surprising that the revamped Microcomputer Technology course at PNW BOCES had record enrollment this year. The Tech Center course, which used to focus on computer repair, now has an comprehensive syllabus that includes cybersecurity, computer coding, and game making, among others. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the world.

“We have enormous enrollment this year,” said Tech Center teacher Dr. Joseph DeCicco, “and students are coming in with a lot of knowledge.” What they leave with, after the two-year program, is often acceptance into top colleges in the field as well as computer-related employment.

“The addition of cybersecurity this year should provide even more opportunities for students,” said DeCicco. “There are more cybersecurity jobs out there than there are qualified people to fill them.”

For every 10 cybersecurity job ads that appear on the headhunting website Indeed, only seven people click on one of the ads, and fewer still actually apply, according to a recent article in Forbes. Microcomputer Technology students at Tech will have a certain advantage entering college and the job market.

And while computer gaming may sound like many high school students’ idea of a dream job, it is serious business, according to DeCicco. “Many of the apps available for our phones are for games,” he said. While gaming is a much more competitive job market than cybersecurity, “Quite a few of my students from last year are now enrolled in college to become game programmers,” DeCicco said.

Sean Ward, from Mahopac, said that he has always been interested in technology. “I want to learn the basics in computer construct, use and programming,” he said, “which is why I think this class is important.”

Carmel student Joe Esposito recognizes the great opportunities the Microcomputer Technology class offers for college readiness. “I wanted to learn about IT because I want to study computer technology in college, and I wanted more of an in-depth understanding before I started, which I feel this class will give me,” he said.