Gillette College Part of Statewide Effort to Grow Technology Sector

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2017

Contact: Wendy Smith, Director of Marketing and Public Information (307) 675 – 0412, wsmith@sheridan.edu

Claire Barnes, Writer/Editor (307) 675 – 0416, cbarnes@sheridan.edu

College offers four associate degrees and two certificates in computer science

The second annual Computer Science Education Week is underway as part of Gov. Matt Mead’s efforts to make computer science a K-12 academic requirement. Mead hopes to grow the technology sector to help diversify Wyoming’s economy.

At the postsecondary level, Gillette College offers several computer technology associate degrees and certificates of completion that deliver the skills students need for computing jobs. Most degrees and certificates are available completely online, so are convenient for working professionals.

Gillette College offers a Computer Information Systems Associate of Science; Computer Networking Administration Associate of Applied Science; Computer Web Development Associate of Applied Science; Cyber Security Associate of Applied Science and Certificate; and a newly added IT Support Technician Certificate to prepare students for rewarding careers in computer science.

“The IT Support Technician Certificate is great for students that want to build their skills in computer technology but aren’t yet ready to commit to a degree program,” said Carol Muirhead, computer science instructor. “At the end of the 31 hour certificate program, they will have learned the foundational concepts that prepare them to take up to five certification exams required for jobs in the industry.”

According to Muirhead, graduates of the certificate program can expect to earn over $35,000 a year as an IT support technician, helpdesk technician or computer support specialist.

“We also offer associate degree programs that prepare students for careers in computer networking, web development, cyber security and computer information that give them opportunities for higher wages and more options for employment,” said Muirhead.

The Cyber Security Certificate is intended for students who wish to strengthen their computer security knowledge and have or are working toward the Computer Network Administration associate degree or IT professionals already working in the field.

According to Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities, there are currently 275 open computing jobs in Wyoming, 3.6 times the average demand rate. The average salary for computing occupations in Wyoming is $63,223, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state at $46,840.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of computer and information technology occupations will grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026 and add about 546,100 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data and information security.

Gillette College spring and summer registration is now open. Go to www.gillettecollege.org to apply online or call 307-681-6000 for more information.