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CompTIA Authorized Academy LogoDOWNERS GROVE, Ill., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CompTIA, the information technology (IT) industry trade association, today congratulated the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center on the launch of its new IT Academy.

"Bringing cyber-skills education into the classroom and providing opportunities to earn cutting-edge industry certifications assures that students will be well prepared to embark on tech careers that offer good pay and opportunities for advancement and growth," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA.

"More importantly, technical literacy is a prerequisite for virtually every occupation in today's information economy," Thibodeaux continued. "We applaud the center's staff and students, and all those who made it possible to take this important step."

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is member of the CompTIA Authorized Partner Program. This initiative helps educators enhance the learning experience for students preparing for an IT career. The center's curriculum prepares students to pursue CompTIA certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+ and Server+. "Earning any of these credentials gives students a proven advantage when they enter the job market," Thibodeaux noted.

A 2015 CompTIA study found that two-thirds of HR executives believe IT certifications are very valuable in the hiring process; and 94 percent expect their importance to grow over the next two years.

Virginia is home to more than 19,000 technology companies and nearly 280,000 tech industry jobs, according to CompTIA's Cyberstates 2015™ report, the definitive state-by-state analysis of the U.S. tech industry. Additionally, more than 280,000 people hold tech jobs in other industries. The average tech industry wage in Virginia is $105,524, the sixth highest nationally and significantly higher than the average wage for all private sector jobs ($51,300).

About CompTIA â€¨The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a non-profit trade association serving as the voice of the information technology industry. With approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners and more than two million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. To learn more, visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.