Cyber Skills Center Graduates its Second Cohort

Cyber Skills Center graduate JaQuitta Bailey presents her final project.

The Cyber Skills Center at Tulsa Community College celebrated its second cohort of graduates to complete accelerated training for in-demand tech careers with a ceremony and demonstrations from new grads.

Graduates completed 24 weeks of the bootcamp-style program in either Cybersecurity or Data Analytics from the TCC Cyber Skills Center in partnership with edX. TCC President and CEO Dr. Leigh Goodson presented certificates of completion to 36 graduates on Jan. 11 at the TCC Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity.

“TCC commends the achievements of these graduates who embraced the fast-paced training model to gain the skills needed for rapidly expanding tech career fields,” said Goodson. “The Cyber Skills Center plays a vital role in developing talent for Tulsa’s tech ecosystem by providing cutting-edge training in a dynamic learning environment.”

Graduate JaQuitta Bailey completed her certificate while working full-time and raising a toddler with her husband.

“I took a deep dive into what my interests were and came across tech and fell in love with all the content that I saw out there. It really excites me to know that there's endless possibilities in this field,” said Bailey. “The work is challenging, but also rewarding. I'm interested in the cyber defense side of things, like vulnerability management, incident response, and monitoring logs.”

Following the graduation ceremony, graduates revealed their final projects during Demo Day, an interactive networking event to introduce graduates to industry professionals.

“Demo Day allows graduates to showcase the new skills they’ve acquired and connect with industry professionals, fostering career opportunities in their chosen paths,” said Director of the Cyber Skills Center Jeremy Wade. “Our accelerated program helps to close the tech skills gap and seeds the growth of Tulsa’s tech community by nurturing homegrown talent.”

The Cyber Skills Center program was launched in 2022 and aims to develop a diverse talent pipeline for tech career fields starting with cybersecurity and data analytics for Tulsa-area residents. It is now operated in partnership between TCC, edX, Tulsa Innovation Labs, and Madison Strategies Group.

Data analytics graduate Marvina Larry enrolled in the Cyber Skills Center after working in accounting for more than 20 years.

“I'm excited to be able to employ the new skills I’ve learned so I can do my job better faster, and help my leadership make better informed decisions,” said Larry. “I've just scratched the surface of the technology in this industry, so my goal is to continue developing the skills that I've learned.”

Marvina Larry claps during the Cyber Skills Center graduation ceremony
Cyber Skills Center graduate Marvina Larry celebrates during a graduation ceremony on Jan. 11.

The majority of students in the second cohort were awarded scholarships to pay for tuition, as well as support services to make education and career transitions more accessible including childcare, transportation, career-readiness support, and required equipment. These scholarships and services were provided with support from the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Achieving an 80% graduation rate, the Cyber Skills Center’s second cohort has an average age of 36, with most of the students identifying as part of historically underserved or underrepresented groups.

The Cyber Skills Center’s third cohort is currently underway with 66 students enrolled in Cybersecurity and Data Analytics programs. Scholarships are offered to 60 selected learners twice per year. The next application period for the fourth cohort begins in February 2024.