GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WFXG) - New development for Aiken Technical College! Bank of America awarded a $25,000 grant to support information technology and cybersecurity education.

Aiken Tech recognizes a growing field. 

“We are very fortunate here in the Augusta area to have cybersecurity coming with Fort Gordon and more companies are relocating here…” said Steven Simmons, Technical and Continuing Education Dean. 

The school aims to help grow the local workforce through test prep programs. Those include A+, Network+, or Security+ computer courses. Once completed, students get one step closer to career-ready.

"The industry recognized certification allows an individual student who passes those exams to demonstrate to an employer that they’ve got the knowledge and skills to be effective on the job.” said Simmons. 

Usually, courses and tests can be costly.

“Our program isn’t quite that expensive, but still a couple of thousand dollars which can be a major barrier to individuals who would like to sit for the exam but also sit and prepare to take the exam.” said Simmons. 

Now, a new grant at Aiken Technical College might just make these learning opportunities more accessible.

“The ability to prepare and sit for the exam is 100 percent free to students with the various grants and the Bank of America grant helps make that happen continuously.” said Simmons.

The funding also opens a unique opportunity for potential students in Georgia.

“Now, we’re able to reach across the students across the state line and be able to work with students in the Augusta, Georgia area to take our courses and be able to have their classes funded.” said Simmons.

Aiken Tech says this is just another way to help advance the career pipeline.

“You can move into the career faster, you can be working at the age of 20, 21. Most companies have tuition reimbursement programs, so you can pursue further education in a part time capacity while you’re working. In today’s financial markets, it makes sense to do that and not incur a whole host of debt.” said Simmons. 

All three CompTIA certification classes are held two days a week from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on the ATC campus. If an individual has no prior CompTIA experience, Aiken Tech recommends courses be taken in the order of A+ followed by Network+ and then Security+. Course participants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. The next Security+ course begins July 19, and other courses begin in the fall. For more information or to register, contact Kendall Carter at (803) 508-7365 or [email protected].

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