Grant Baird looks at computers while wearing a biege hoddie and black headphones

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – “Everyone needs us, even if they don’t know it yet.”

That is what Andrew Phillips, lead instructor for the Cybersecurity program at Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County location, often says when asked by his students who is hiring.

Although Phillips finds that there are a lot of possible paths for graduates of the program, he said the companies doing the most hiring are the bigger ones.

“The industries that are consciously looking (for cybersecurity specialists) include ones that have high-compliance requirements,” Phillips said. “So banks, medical facilities and chain stores with lots and lots of locations, to name a few.”

Graduates of TSTC’s Cybersecurity program, which offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and certificates of completion, tend to start out their careers working in a more generalized information technology position, whether that be troubleshooting, customer service or networking. After gaining some experience, the goal is to then move into the more mid-level positions such as cybersecurity analyst or threat detection.

“I encourage our students to ideally have three things when job hunting: the degree, some certifications, and finally some work experience to help answer questions in the interviewing process,” Phillips said.

Phillips also tells his students to pay close attention to which aspects of the program they find most engaging, which can go a long way in helping them find the right career path.

For one TSTC student, he did just that.

Grant Baird is in his final semester of the Cybersecurity program, with a job in the industry at Preactive IT Solutions in Richmond. But initially he had very different plans for his career.

“While I had taken an internship at Preactive IT Solutions back in high school, I actually went to college for programming,” Baird said. “That ended up not working out, and after trying a few other things, I realized that the only job I had liked was the internship.”

A friend in the industry recommended TSTC and the Cybersecurity program to him.

“This has been my favorite college experience by far,” Baird said.

Other graduates of the program have gone on to work at veterans hospitals and even the U.S. Department of Defense.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit

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