Hillsdale Career students prep for high-skill, high-demand jobs

HILLSDALE, Mich. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule, News 10 is highlighting the Hillsdale Area Career Center that's giving students a leg up in the professional world.

It's a career field that's growing each day.

It may seem like a no-brainer in today's day and age, but people are constantly connected to the world around them through the Internet. We see it on our phones, laptops-but it turns out, there's a lot going on behind the scenes that people may not even realize.

“You have Cyber Security, which is more web and network based, or informational technology, which is more computer and component based,” said Logan Dunne, a Senior at Hillsdale High School.

So what is Cyber Security? Simply put, it's making sure the information being used to access the Internet, and the information that's being shared, is protected.

That means everything from e-mail passwords to credit card information when you make an online purchase.

"It’s just kind of interesting to learn more about the programs and the computers and being able to, at the end of this just stop people from getting into your computers and attacking you,” said Phoebe Shroats, a Junior who is Home Schooled.

That's exactly what students in the Hillsdale Area Career Center's Cyber Security and Digital Forensics class are doing.

“The students that come in my classroom, for the two years in the program can walk out with 12 different certifications and can go get a job in the industry,” said Wayne Boggs, who teaches the Cyber Security and Digital Forensics class.

Boggs's class is self-paced and uses the same curriculum as Jackson College. The juniors and seniors in his class have already completed at least three of those certifications already this school year.

“The Cyber Security industry is in huge demand, high wage, high skilled jobs are out there and they’re not being filled,” said Boggs.

“For me it’s not a lot of work because it’s actually really fun and I also like what we’re learning,” said Thomas Carr, a Junior at Pittford Area High School.

The students are happy to fill those spots.

“I like to play with computers a lot so it really just drives me to pretty much build them, take them apart and then rebuild them faster," said Lance Fowler, a Junior at Hillsdale High School.

“Halfway through my junior year I was struggling through my regular classes at my regular school and now I’m passing with flying colors,” said Nate Erts, a Senior at Hillsdale High School.

“I wanna help people with their computers because when I was younger I would make some mistakes and I wanna help make sure they don’t make their mistakes and have to buy a whole new thing,” said Emmitt McMullen, a Junior at Pittsford.

Cyber Security and Digital Forensics is the newest CTE class at the Hillsdale Area Career Center. Boggs says by 2024, 270,000 Cyber Security jobs will go unfilled, making the study of it now more important than ever.