CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Dozens of college students visited the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services campus on Thursday to attend its Collegiate Academy.

While on campus, students had the opportunity to hear from employees in a variety of career paths and take part in hands-on demonstrations. Deputy Assistant Director, Tim Ferguson, said that these programs are important not only for the FBI but also for the colleges participating.

“One which I think is to break down the stigma of what the FBI is and to kind of open the doors to different career opportunities. It’s also important for us to help get people on the right track, especially when it comes to becoming an employee of the FBI. It’s important to folks to you know do things within their lives as far as the school is concerned, what different degrees that they want to focus on in order to help them be better prepared to come into the FBI and work for us after they graduate,” Ferguson said.

The event was open to students from all fields of study. 35 students from West Virginia University’s Secure WVU Program were in attendance. The program is designed to help students obtain and maintain security clearance.

“That’s one of the goals of the University and the program is really to keep people in-state. We have thousands of jobs, many of them in cybersecurity or in the tech industry open right now in the state. Our university and other universities, we’re not turning them out, students out quick enough for them to fill all those positions and a lot of those students are from elsewhere so a lot of times they want to go home or go somewhere else in the United States or the world. So, one of our goals is to really help them stay here in the state,” Jack Thompson, WVU Director of Corporate Relations, said.

In hopes of finding some new hires, the FBI encouraged students to bring their resumes to the academy.