UTRGV will offer a new Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity starting Sept. 1. The program will teach students about information assurance, network and computer security, digital forensics, operating systems security and more.
Students in the 120-hour program will study the security aspects of computing and cyberspace. This is central to the rapidly expanding security concerns in an ever-changing technological world. The program requires 50 advanced hours of instruction for core, technical electives and support courses.
The program will integrate the technical topics of intrusion detection and incident response, distributed and cloud computing security, and wireless and mobile security. Students also will learn about how to secure cyber devices, and the principles of science, engineering and mathematics. They will also receive instruction on how this field of study has a profound impact on societal confidence.
The program will be available in person, with face-to-face, in-class formatting through educational technology. This includes Learning Management System and Interactive TV to accommodate students from all UTRGV campuses.
Dr. Mahmoud Quweider is a professor of computer science and associate dean of the UTRGV Department of Computer Science. He says there are plans in the future to make this program available online as the program grows.
According to Quweider, the demand for jobs within cybersecurity specialties are on the rise. This makes this program a both necessary and timely addition to the Computer Science fields of study.
“Job titles for technical cybersecurity professionals include information security analyst, cybersecurity engineer, network engineer/architect, vulnerability analyst/penetration tester and software developer/engineer,” he said. “These are technical positions in high demand in public and private sectors, with great paying salaries and benefits.”
Quweider said the need for these kinds of professionals are especially important to the workforce in the Rio Grande Valley. The cybersecurity field alone has a projected growth rate of more than 12 percent from 2018 to 2028. The program will help fill the need for local, state, and national cybersecurity professionals.
“We believe that this program will bring national recognition to UTRGV as a leading institution in cybersecurity education and research, especially that we aim to become a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited program over the coming years,” Quweider said. “Our students should enjoy a much sought-after jobs, especially in the government sector, where the median annual wage is $98,000.”