April 8, 2022
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) today (April 8) received approval from the Purdue University Board of Trustees to offer a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security.
PNW plans to transition current undergraduates and welcome new students into the program in the 2022-23 academic year, pending approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education . PNW students currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Computer Information Technology, with a concentration in Cybersecurity, would be eligible to transition to the new Bachelor of Cybersecurity.
“Purdue University Northwest is constantly evaluating how we can meet in-demand educational and career interests,” said Kenneth C. Holford, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Transitioning some of our current cybersecurity offerings to a four-year degree will help PNW recruit and prepare new classes of well-trained cybersecurity tech students who will be in high demand by employers in this burgeoning field. growth. As an affordable, high-quality metropolitan university, PNW will also provide a significant financial advantage through this degree program over other institutions near and in Indiana.
Since 2014, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have jointly designated PNW as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense for its Computer Information Technology program. This designation signifies the strength of PNW’s cybersecurity program and its status as one of two institutions in Indiana with this recognition that offers four years of in-person cybersecurity training.
“The Bachelor in Cyber Security will help meet the workforce needs that are in high demand nationally and nationally due to cyber incidents affecting our infrastructure, industry, businesses and government,” said Niaz Latif, Dean of PNW College of Technology. .
Help close the gap
The BS in Cybersecurity will prepare undergraduates with the technical competence to protect networks, systems, programs, and data from criminal or unauthorized use. Students will learn a wide range of topics, including emerging areas of applied data science and artificial intelligence. PNW Computer Information Technology students are often placed in hands-on, lab-based classes with exercises relevant to real-world settings.
“Cybersecurity is important because we live in a connected world,” said Keyuan Jiang, professor of computer information technology and director of the computer and graphics information technology department at PNW. “We are humans. Not everything we create technologically will be perfect, but we can try to minimize vulnerabilities. All of them will be impacted by cybersecurity in one way or another. We need to have a strong workforce in place to make sure things don’t happen as badly as we have seen in the past. Cybersecurity incidents have been shown to have enormous costs.
PNW’s new supply will in turn meet a critical labor demand in the Chicago metro area and beyond. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted in 2020 that national cybersecurity jobs would grow 33% by 2030. Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development predicted a almost 26% increase in cybersecurity jobs between 2018 and 2028.
PNW’s Cybersecurity degree will prepare students for occupations such as cybersecurity specialist, manager or consultant, software developer, system or network engineer, and system administrator. The degree can also prepare students for postgraduate programs at PNW, especially the Master of Technology and the pending PhD in Technology.
“In computer information technology, we cover all aspects of computing,” Jiang said. “Our students will have the opportunity to be exposed to all aspects of computing. This is important because everything is integrated these days. Employers really like our students. The best comment I hear from them is that our students can wear many hats.
The new cybersecurity degree also responds to an increased educational demand for undergraduate students. PNW offered a concentration in cybersecurity with its bachelor’s degree in computer information technology in 2019. Enrollment in this concentration increased significantly from fall 2019 to spring 2022.
In the Chicago metro area, PNW’s BS in Cybersecurity will be the only four-year, in-person public degree available among nearby institutions.
Additional PNW Cyber Security Resources
The BS in Cybersecurity draws on several resources that PNW has developed in cybersecurity education.
PNW’s Center for Cybersecurity, which is funded by DHS and NSA grants, promotes cybersecurity education and awareness to the local community through GenCyber Summer Camps for students. secondary, as well as workforce training and cybersecurity research. The Center has won over $16 million in federal funding to support its activities.
In the fall of 2020, PNW’s Computer Information Technology and Graphic Design Department launched an Applied Data Science minor to prepare students for new knowledge and skills in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and into big data. The faculty considered that the program could integrate AI into cybersecurity, as AI can help detect cyber threats.