Page 29 - Cybersecurity Career Guide for Alexandria College
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   County College of Morris, NY
   Tarrant County College, in Fort Worth, TX
    Lehigh Carbon Community College, in Schnecksville, PA
St. Paul, or Dakota State University, in Madison, SD. And at Coastline College
in Fountain Valley, CA, cyber students can opt to sequence their courses aimed at various career pathways to obtain “stack- able” certificates, which can ultimately count towards a four-year degree at Na- tional University. Even better, National and many four-year colleges offer schol- arships to students with the AAS degree.
Great opportunities for apprentice- ships are another advantage to commu- nity college education. An apprenticeship with a government agency enhances your marketability and may include a basic security clearance, which shows any em- ployer that you can be trusted. However, be aware that getting clearance may take months of waiting and not working, even when you have a job offer. For appren- ticeships in the private sector, make sure they are registered with some sort of state authority. “There should be some government seal,” says Bate, “and they should offer some kind of credential at the completion of the program.”
Finally, starting your education at a community college is a great way to save money. The cost of the average commu- nity college has been stable over the past 20 years, while four-year institu- tions over the same period have seen costs skyrocket! Today the average annual total cost to attend a two-year institution is $10,300. And don’t forget to look at your home state. Seventeen states, including New York and California, offer tuition-free community college— now that’s a bargain. Even if you later finish your education at a four-year insti- tution, you will have saved yourself from two years of considerable debt.
For a state-by-state list of community colleges offering associate degrees, see our website at associates-degrees.
 Alexandria Technical & Community College, in Alexandria, MN
“I’d advise starting in community col- lege and be looking at job postings, but position yourself for a four-year degree,” says Laura Bate, a senior director for the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission.
So-called articulation agreements make transitioning from community
college to a four-year college a cinch.
At Alexandria Technical & Community College, in Alexandria, MN, for example, AAS students in the cybersecurity, virtu- alization, and networking concentration can seamlessly transfer their 60 credits to Metropolitan State University, in

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