County IT department hosts cyber internship program


From staff reports

The Beaufort County Information Technology Department currently hosts a cyber-security student internship program with USC Beaufort. Student interns are now getting real-world experience working as IT security analysts with Beaufort County.

The internship program provides a tailored work experience that meets local governments’ current and future workforce needs. The USCB cyber-security students had prior experience and brought skills to the internship that fit well with the County’s overall cyber-security initiatives. The program includes expectations of a strong work ethic, communication, interpersonal, and computer science\cyber-security skills. Each intern will receive periodic performance reviews as well as peer reviews.

“Cybersecurity education is a critical component of the cybersecurity ecosystem. The quality, depth, and diversity of its educational programming work towards creating a cyber-aware population”, said Assistant County Administrator Patrick Hill. “Giving students experience in protecting and securing a complex local government infrastructure is a great pathway to increase the cyber workforce development within Beaufort County.”

Working in a real-world environment helps cyber students understand the security challenges and threats facing infrastructures today. Internships help students learn about their capabilities and ultimately encourage them to understand their strengths and weaknesses better.

“Internships are invaluable to the student and Beaufort County,” said Shakeeya Polite, IT Director-Systems Management. “Getting on-the-job experience is invaluable for the student. It allows the County, as a potential future employer, to guide students and help them expand their skills and experience in the workplace. With cyber security as the fastest growing career field, Beaufort County is uniquely positioned to develop a pool of qualified future employees.”

Internships equip students with more than just technical skills: business and technical knowledge are also necessary. People skills, such as a collaborative work ethic, learning to be a team player, working under pressure, and knowing why deadlines matter, are also developed.

There are numerous internship opportunities available with Beaufort County. The Communication Services and Legal Departments are also collaborating with local colleges and universities with a student internship program.

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