Date: 2019/07/30

Local Professionals Provide Expertise for new Cybersecurity Programs at GFC MSU

2019 Great Falls College MSU Computer Technology Faculty

GREAT FALLS— Local Great Falls professionals are sharing their expertise in cybersecurity by teaching courses in the new Cybersecurity programs being offered this fall at Great Falls College Montana State University.

"We are so fortunate to have local experts help teach classes in the new Cybersecurity program," said Chris Mee, Computer Technology Program Director at GFC MSU. "Not everyone knows about the talent we have in Great Falls."

Cybersecurity is a growing field, with an estimated 3.5 million job openings forecasted by 2021 according to Cybersecurity Ventures. "Finance, healthcare, retail and just about every industry needs someone trained in cybersecurity now because so much data is stored on network servers, from the finance and healthcare industries to educational institutions to retailers. Hackers are trying to breach firewalls and protections of every business," said Mee.

Justin Jones, Associate Vice President, Information Technology Risk Manager at DA Davidson; Rickey Cascell, Network Analyst of Raytheon; David Spicer, Network Administrator of Benefis Healthcare; Frank Arb, Application Support Analyst at Great Falls Public Schools are a few of the adjunct instructors teaching the program.

"The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher nor has the risk of cyber-attack been greater. I'm looking forward to assisting in the development of cybersecurity professionals to better protect the security and privacy of companies and individuals while setting them up for careers in cybersecurity," said Justin Jones, Associate Vice President, Information Technology Risk Manager at DA Davidson.

"I am passionate about teaching because I get to pass along my knowledge that I have to the students of the future just like my instructors did for me when I was a student a few years ago," said David Spicer, Network Administrator of BenefisHealth Systems.

Both Spicer and Arb are graduates of GFC MSU.

GFC MSU is offering both a Certificate and an Applied Associate of Science degree in Cybersecurity. The certificate is designed for those already working in the computer field and builds on their knowledge and skills to prepare them to transition to cybersecurity and system analysis. The associate degree in Cybersecurity is designed for those with little or no experience in computer technology or cybersecurity who want to enter this growing field.

The certificate can be completed online in less than a year and at a fraction of the cost of taking other certification programs and exams.

Both programs will provide coursework in networking fundamentals, network security and CompTIA Security +, computer forensics, enterprise security, ethical hacking and network defense. Students will also receive hands-on experience.

"Today, most businesses operate online in some fashion. The Cybersecurity programs at Great Falls College MSU are designed to prepare students to become proficient in the cybersecurity discipline so they can go out into the workforce and work to test, analyze, and secure IT systems for those businesses and their customers," said Mee. "Nationally and locally, there is a shortage in cybersecurity professionals. Well-paying cybersecurity positions will be available well into the future."

The C.T.S. and A.A.S. in Cybersecurity complement the existing Computer Programming, Network Support and Security, and Microcomputer Support programs that make up an already strong Computer Technology department at Great Falls College MSU.

Registration is open now, and current or prospective students interested in pursuing a future in Cybersecurity should contact Admissions by calling (406)268-3700, or by visiting the college's website at and clicking on "Become a Student."

For more information about the growing cybersecurity industry, please visit

For media requests, please contact:

Taylor Alexander
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Phone: (406)771.4314

Christopher Mee
Computer Technology Department Chair
Phone: (406)771.4377

⇦ Back to list page
Record Number: 638