“As our nation and world places greater priority on strengthening cybersecurity, higher education must produce skilled and capable cybersecurity professionals, able to defend networks and infrastructure,” said Dr. Michael Geary, chair of PCC’s Engineering and Computer Science Department.
To help meet this need, PCC will offer a cybersecurity concentration beginning fall 2019. The new program falls under the computer information systems major and aligns with PCC’s mission of producing Christian leaders who are knowledgeable, articulate, moral, and dedicated to excellence by training students to have a moral and ethical approach to cybersecurity challenges. The addition of the cybersecurity concentration comes at a crucial time as the need for specialists grows each year.
“In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that 20 percent of Americans have been victimized by some form of cybercrime,” said Dr. Geary. “In addition, DHS stated that our nation needs ‘top cybersecurity-related degree programs that meet high cybersecurity academic standards.’ This would include protection of physical information systems as well as the networking, software, hardware, and other computer-based resources that our economy and nation relies upon so heavily today.”
As they follow the course of the concentration, students will have the opportunity to learn from skilled faculty as well as cybersecurity professionals. Courses such as Introduction to Applied Cryptography (CS 376), Digital Forensics (CS 472), and Ethical Hacking (CS 379) will provide a well-rounded yet targeted education in the highly technical field and prepare students to work in a growing industry.
There is a large demand for skilled workers who have been trained in cybersecurity. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be an estimated “3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021.” As technology continues to rapidly advance, computer security offers a landscape of ever-changing opportunities and exciting new challenges. The concentration will prepare students to meet these challenges as they fulfill their role as Christian professionals.
PCC looks forward to welcoming a new generation of computer specialists as they train to solve problems logically and combat digital attacks.