The Role of Education in the Cybersecurity Workforce

Posted on Dec 11, 2017

Education is one of the key hallmarks to an IT workforce that successfully practices cybersecurity awareness. The deeper the knowledge base within an organization, the more secure it is apt to be. Some recent reports are suggesting that there are ways to improve the way we educate those joining the cybersecurity workforce.

Cybersecurity Awareness Experts Discuss Roles of Education Cybersecurity Education is Lacking

The need to promote cybersecurity training is striking: the Department of Labor shows that there are nearly 200,000 jobs currently available in the field, with the employment field of IT security jumping 37 percent in the next decade.

According to a study done with some of the top Computer Science Programs at U.S universities, cybersecurity program requirements are lacking across the board. Only 3 out of the 50 schools evaluated, require one course that specializes in cybersecurity, while 1 out of these 50 require three or more specialized cybersecurity courses. As a consequence, university-level computer science programs are not producing graduates that have a high-level of cybersecurity training.

Enhancing Cybersecurity Curriculum
The federal government is stepping in to assist with two recent concepts: the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and the Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, sponsored by the NSA and DHS. The goal of both of these initiatives is to boast our cybersecurity infrastructure through in-depth education that can be brought to the next generation.

Universities are able to be recognized by the Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity after meeting criteria set forth regarding cybersecurity curriculum. The designation provides positive publicity and guidance to universities, but ultimately assists them in preparing graduates for the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape that awaits. Examples of diverse curriculum options include:

  • Fundamentals of cybersecurity and information technology
  • Computer networking, telecommunications
  • Software development, app design and scripting
  • Cryptography and software security, fraud prevention and detection technologies
  • Database design, management and administration
  • Digital media and web technology
  • Enterprise resource planning, project management
  • Business systems analysis and design
  • Digital forensics and cyber investigation
  • Cyber law and ethics
  • Management and leadership

 With cybersecurity threats continuing to grow, it is absolutely paramount that computer science programs evolve and make cybersecurity courses a core requirement. Recent initiatives set forth will help to ensure that students are able to join the workforce with the skills, the training, and the education that they need. To learn more about cybersecurity awareness and how NC4 Cyber Risk solutions can help your organization, contact us today.


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