With over 2,000 tools and countless attack methodologies, CEH has been a selected as a primary course to help prepare students for cyber competitions.

TAMPA, FL, June 09, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — SADDLEBACK College, a public community college in Mission Valley, California, has achieved recent success in cyber security competitions amid top university programs, making it to the final rounds in cyber competitions including the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (WRCCDC) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory competition of CyberForce held by the U.S. Department of Energy. Saddleback College is using the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) within their degree program both to prepare students for a career in cybersecurity and to win cyber competitions!

As the cyber security collegiate competition landscape becomes more competitive, students often wonder what the best way to prepare for a cyber competition is. Successful teams train frequently and work together on exploits, tools, and strategies. However, when the competition starts, practical skills such as communication, leadership, and creativity are quintessential for the success of the team. Winning teams often mention team cohesion as the difference-maker in the final moments of a competition.

Using competitions as a stackable credential, students can enhance their resume and showcase their skills, awards, and ambition by competing. Many institutions, including Saddleback College, now make this a primary focus of their degree program.

Jeffrey Barnett, Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science at Saddleback College has structured a hands-on program that makes cyber competitions mandatory for students taking their CEH class within their Cyber Defense Degree. According to Barnett, “Our class brings students together which is the first step in preparing for the field of cyber security. There are no prerequisites for our CEH class which allows the opportunity to learn while practicing as we include competitions throughout the semester season. We require a minimum of 3 competitions each term as part of the course and students connect with their classmates to understand why this matters.”

Barnett goes on to say “Our CEH class is a required Core class within our Computer Science Cyber Defense Associate of Science Degree as class CIMS 150. This course helps build leadership skills as we designate an ‘operations officer’ to delegate the competition logistics and teams’ responsibilities. If a student comes in knowing nothing, they know they have a support system with these classmates and team officers they can lean on and encourage them. The CEH Academia Series course gives us the opportunity to do this. We are also adding CHFI next term to better prepare our students in digital forensics domains as well.”

With competitions on the rise, the number of organizations looking to scout new incoming talent is also growing. EC-Council’s annual Global CyberLympics competition has allowed participants to compete virtually with the potential to obtain internships from sponsored organizations. The cost of a competition ticket could prospectively become the entryway to landing a job and a lucrative career. As the evolution of cyber war gaming continues, Wesley Alvarez, Director of Academics within the EC-Council Tampa, FL office, has this to say about the future of cyber competitions:

“As more competitions are offered, it is important to consider the way feedback and skills are measured and provided back to each team. This process needs to evolve. Point systems do not always specifically inform individuals and teams what they are good at and how these skills translate to a career. These point systems encourage students, but the question is often, “If I didn’t win, what does that mean in terms of my skills and where do I go from here?”

Wesley goes on to say “EC-Council has been offering cyber competitions, hack-a-thons, and challenges for over a decade. We will now launch a state-of-the-art cyber war gaming platform this September that will track competencies in a performance-based platform, mapping back to Common Vulnerability Scoring Standards (CVSS) and the NIST/NICE framework. These are undeniable standards and frameworks. We will soon provide options for students to consistently challenge themselves to focus on their proficiencies in skills most commonly used in today’s workforce. This will be done in and outside of the classroom and this is where our programs are headed, more hand’s-on and more opportunities to compete.”

Saddleback College has been part of the EC-Council Academia partner program since December of 2018. As their program continues to produce successful players and professionals, they are confident their approach will challenge students to not only grow their skills but lead others. The EC-Council Academic division serves over 2,500 colleges and universities across the world.

About EC-Council
International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, also known as EC-Council, is the world’s largest cyber security technical certification body. Operating in over 145 countries globally, EC-Council is the owner and developer of the world-famous Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (C|HFI), Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), License Penetration Testing (Practical) programs, among many others. EC-Council is proud to have trained and certified over 200,000 information security professionals globally that have influenced the cyber security mindset of countless organizations worldwide. For more information, visit eccouncil.org

About Saddleback College
Saddleback College has been the first choice for higher education and training in South Orange County since 1968.  Our more than 500,000 alumni can attest to the quality of our academic and career training programs that enable students to successfully achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals.  Our rich academic traditions and strong reputation make Saddleback College an ideal place for students seeking associate degrees and certificates, transferring to four-year colleges and universities, preparing for the workforce, or pursuing lifelong learning opportunities.

Saddleback College is fully accredited, offering over 300 associate degrees, certificates, and occupational skills awards in 190 program areas taught by a faculty renowned for its expertise, experience, and commitment to student success. Study abroad, cooperative work experience, online learning, and honors are just some of the additional programs we offer for a well-rounded educational experience.


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