PRCC Students Have Two New Opportunities to Join High-Paying and High-Demand Careers in Cybersecurity and Hydrography programs

May 17, 2023

Prospective students will have more options for training that can lead into potentially high-paying careers this fall at Pearl River Community College. Cybersecurity Technology will be offered at the Poplarville Campus and Hydrography will be offered at the Hancock Campus.  

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with the critical task of protecting electronic systems, networks, and sensitive data from unauthorized access, theft, damage, and other cyber threats. Cybersecurity professionals use a combination of technology, processes, and policies to safeguard against potential attacks and vulnerabilities. 

The program at PRCC blends the basics of computer networking with additional courses so they are prepared to handle both the hardware and software sides. Coursework includes the opportunity to practice skills in a secure information technology infrastructure. 

Cell phone with small lock on top of it

“I am excited about the new offering for Cybersecurity at PRCC,” said Cybersecurity Instructor Frank Hammen.  “There is such a dire need for qualified people in the industry.  Currently there are around 562,000 open Cybersecurity related positions open in the US alone and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is projecting a growth of 35% in the industry over the next 10 years.   

“With the introduction of the Cybersecurity program at PRCC, we will position the college as an educational center for the next generation of cyber defenders in our area, our state, nationally and beyond.” 

Successful students possess problem-solving capabilities with an attention to detail. Graduates with an Associate of Applied Technology in Cybersecurity can find employment as a Computer Technician, Network Administrator, and Network Technician. Starting pay with the degree in a role of Computer User Support Specialist is approximately $30,000 with the potential to move into other technical roles such as Information Security Analysts paying an average of $85,460 in the state of Mississippi. 

Hydrography is the measurement and description of the physical features of a body of water. This information is then used to create up-to-date nautical maps for safer navigation of waterways. It can also be used when planning marine renewable energy and aquaculture, a growing industry in the United States. 

Students in the STEM Club learn about hydrography (Fall 2021)

In 2021, PRCC began offering a unique autonomous coastal mapping course in conjunction with the National Oceans and Applications Research Center to help meet the need for more coastal mapping technicians. The coursework was done as part of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Program at Hancock Campus. 

PRCC is the first community college to offer an Associate of Applied Technology in Hydrography. Individuals who are successful in a Hydrography program typically enjoy working on the water, have excellent math and science skills, and good problem-solving skills. 

“I could not be more excited or thankful to be a part of the Hydrography Technology program,” said Sydni Crain Hydrography Instructor. “Being such a unique program, there is potential for tremendous growth and opportunity for everyone involved.  

“Industry partners have been an integral part of this program’s development and there has already been interest shown in hiring future graduates. I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”   

Graduates can also transfer into the Hydrography program at the University of Southern Mississippi on the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach. USM is the only school in the United States that offers a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science with a hydrography emphasis. And they are only one of two programs to offer master’s and PhD programs. 

After graduation, work as a hydrography technician or hydrographer can pay between $50,000 to $80,000. Both government and private agencies employ hydrographers and technicians with the potential for state, national and international travel. 

“As a Mississippi company serving the Navy, NOAA, state governments, and other ocean-focused partners, NVision is thrilled PRCC is enhancing the Mississippi Coast’s growing Blue Economy portfolio with the Hydrography Technology program,” said Joel Lawhead, Vice President of NVision Solutions Inc. in Diamondhead, “We look forward to capitalizing on this important new workforce pipeline as do many of our partners around the country.”   

Interested students can start by applying to PRCC, indicating the program of interest on the application. Once the application is completed, prospective students must have both an ACT score and transcript sent to PRCC. An application does not guarantee your spot as seats for each program are limited. 

Visit PRCC.EDU/Admissions to become a Wildcat today. 

Anyone interested in a tour of the Forrest County Campus or Poplarville Campus can reach out to the Office of Recruitment by calling 601-403-1197, emailing recruitment@, or visiting the webpage Those interested in PRCC’s Hancock location can visit the campus on the following registration dates: July 13, 19, 20, and 26 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and August 1, 2, and 3 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Please call 228-252-7001 to make an appointment. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article by Laura O’Neill. Hydrography demo photo by Jolie Pervel.

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