TCC, Tulsa Innovation Labs launch program to teach cyber security

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Innovation Labs have partnered with EDX, a global, online classroom to launch a cyber skills center to fight the rising threat of cyber attacks.

The collaboration comes more than one year after hackers attacked the City of Tulsa’s computer systems.

Connor Godfrey is the manager of the Cyber and Analytics team at Tulsa Innovation Labs. He says the goal is to build a diverse, cyber security workforce.

“Pipelines in this region are being hacked. Many of our companies are being hacked everyday, so this is something that not just Tulsa, but the broader Heartland has a major opportunity to contribute to American national security,” said Godfrey.

This growing threat is pushing a need for a growing workforce, one Tulsa Community College hopes to make more diverse.

“Opportunities like this are actually ground floor opportunities that years from now yield an abundance of black cyber talent,” said Tyrance Billingsley, the Executive Director of Black Tech Street.

The average entry salary for employees in this field averages at $63,000 per year. But, Billingsley believes that number will grow.

“Cyber security is going to be one of the highest paying tech fields, and its also one of the ones that doesn’t require an overabundance of technical knowledge. So it’s got a lot of transferability from general soft skills.”

The program includes a 24-week boot camp, which is free for Tulsa residents. Students will receive a paid apprenticeship once they complete the training.

The program hopes to bring several hundred Tulsans into the growing field.