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Guide to the top college and university cyber security degree programs

Bob Violino | July 10, 2017
Business and technology higher education institutions are offering cyber security degrees and programs to help meet the job demand.

“It also takes full advantage of the [Washington] D.C.-based companies and government agencies involved in cyber security,” Cukier says. A co-curricular and pre-professional program related to cyber security complements the academic experience, he says.

The minor program focuses on upper-level technical coursework and experiential learning opportunities for students who are capable of and interested in gaining professional training in cyber security. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the living-learning program as peer mentors and tutors.

ACES facilitates regular networking opportunities with corporate and governmental leaders in cyber security, helping students gain mentors and professional contacts, Cukier says. Particularly talented undergraduates who weren’t part of the LLP may apply during their sophomore year to join the ACES minor as juniors.

The ACES curriculum balances technical skills with non-technical coursework, Cukier says. In the first semester, students learn about the ethics of cyber security as well as various coding languages.

ACES offers non-technical seminars such as accounting and economic aspects of cyber security, security incident handling and management, and the policy implications of cyberspace, which are often taken alongside classes such as digital forensics and reverse engineering.

The ACES program aims to offer real-world learning experiences in collaboration with government, industry, and university partners. “Our close proximity to the nation’s capital and strong partnerships with industry provides our students with the opportunity to get internships as soon as their freshman year,” Cukier says.

Degrees: The Living-Learning Program for freshmen and sophomores leading to an Honors College Citation in Cybersecurity,  and the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) minor for juniors and seniors

Curriculum: ACES programs include introduction to UNIX, the Cybersecurity Professionals Colloquium series, applied security analysis, cyber forensics and experiential learning courses. LLP courses include foundations of cybersecurity I and II, seminars and experiential work in cybersecurity.

Placement: The ACES program provides networking opportunities for students to make professional contacts and find mentors.


New York University Tandon School of Engineering

NYU Tandon School of Engineering offers a master’s degree in cyber security, and the program is rooted in the belief that theory and research must translate into real-world solutions, says Nasir Memon, professor of computer science and engineering at Tandon.

To that end, the school operates the Offensive Security, Incident Response and Internet Security Laboratory (OSIRIS), where students collaborate and develop research. Its virtual laboratory, called VITAL, serves as a shared, central facility for a consortium of universities in New York City, providing hands-on research and learning opportunities for students who study remotely.

Tandon offers courses including hardware security, reverse engineering, cloud security, biometrics, and trust-risk-deception. “Our students also have the opportunity to work across many disciplines throughout NYU by completing dual majors in fields such as business, law, policy, or game development, to name a few,” Memon says.


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