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Loyola University New Orleans Unveils New Cybersecurity Degree

By Loyola University on Thu, 02/06/2020 - 14:11

Apply now to get started as a member of the next-generation cybersecurity workforce

(New Orleans, La. – February 6, 2020) As municipalities and governments around the nation cope with the fallout of cyberattacks and ransomware, Loyola University New Orleans announces a new undergraduate degree in cybersecurity, a specialization of Loyola’s Computer Science degree. The program, which officially launches in fall 2020, addresses information security comprehensively – storage, transmission, applications, and organizational measures needed to preserve and protect sensitive information and systems. Prospective students may apply now or visit loyno.edu/cyber for more information.

“As recent events locally have demonstrated, there is a pressing need for more cybersecurity professionals,” said President Tania Tetlow. “At Loyola New Orleans, we are proud to help meet that need and provide our students the careers of the future.”

“As computers assist us more and more in our work and in our lives, we can become more vulnerable to criminals and hackers,” said Andrew Wolfe, visiting professor of computer science, pointing to recent cyberattacks in major cities and the breach of consumer credit reporting giant Equifax.

“Loyola’s cybersecurity graduates will be able to help protect businesses, the government and the public from such threats.”

Unfilled cybersecurity positions across the United States currently number in the hundreds of thousands, and the U.S. Department of Labor projects a future shortfall approaching one million. One 2017 study reports a shortfall of over 300,000 cybersecurity specialists, with a projected growth to 1.8 million unfilled positions in 2022, while more recent reports say that unfilled positions are expected to grow to 3.5 million worldwide. Loyola’s cybersecurity degree has been devised in response to this need. Student demand is expected to be high, with median pay for information security analysts hovering around $98K. Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 32 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The Loyola program follows curriculum guidelines from the National Security Agency, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and the National Cyberwatch Center, and is designed to integrate easily with other disciplines offered by Loyola, such as existing programs in Business, Law, and Criminal Justice. The new cybersecurity degree program at Loyola, a nationally recognized liberal arts university, offers a breadth and rigor that will allow its graduates to serve effectively in many cybersecurity roles, even as the industry grows and changes, Wolfe said.

“Cybersecurity cannot be focused simply on technical aspects – its bits, and bytes, however challenging,” Wolfe said. “The cybersecurity professional works with organizational, business, and legal issues. Loyola’s program is unique in its ability to expose students to a breadth of cybersecurity topics in small-class settings.”

Loyola New Orleans has extensive experience in computer science instruction and provides hands-on learning experience. Cybersecurity students at Loyola will learn programming, computing ethics, corporate cyber strategy, cryptography and its applications, digital forensics, and more. They may also integrate study of artificial intelligence, machine learning, networking, and database management systems. During their senior year, cybersecurity students will be expected to complete an internship in their field as a degree requirement.

Internet pioneer and university trustee Dr. Stephen Kent, ‘73 endorsed Loyola’s new cybersecurity degree program as “rigorous.” “It incorporates a wide range of course material that should provide a solid background for students seeking work in the commercial or government (federal, state or local) arenas,” Kent said. “It would also provide a solid underpinning for students who elect to attend graduate school with a focus on cybersecurity.”

“Our cybersecurity degree program is unique in combining theoretical foundations and applied technology with the organizational disciplines that are critical to this subject,” said Interim Provost Maria Calzada. “Our students arrive at Loyola with much intellectual curiosity, and the new cybersecurity program will not only satisfy that interest, but prepare students for fulfilling careers of service—and today's job market is begging for these skills.”

“We are reaching out to government agencies and to the business community, not only to place our students in internships and careers, but also to ensure our program addresses cybersecurity needs in ‘the real world’,” Wolfe said. “I expect Loyola cybersecurity graduates to be prized in business, law enforcement, the military and government in the very near future.”
 
Andrew Wolfe began his career working on intelligence systems for the U.S. Army and integrated security with software development throughout a career of over 35 years. In addition to practicing cybersecurity, he has taught cybersecurity courses at university level  since the late 2000s. He holds a 1983 bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a 2005 Master’s degree in Computer Science from Boston University. He will lead the cybersecurity program at Loyola together with Dr. Scott Dermott, Dr. Ralph Tucci, and Dr. Omar El-Khatib.