Columbus State University is now more empowered to help fill the increasing number of cybersecurity job openings.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents, during its meeting Thursday, approved CSU’s request to establish a master’s degree program in cybersecurity management.
This new online degree will be available immediately, beginning with the spring 2018 semester, which starts Jan. 22, CSU announced in a news release Friday. The 30 semester-hour program will be housed in the D. Abbott Turner College of Business’ TSYS School of Computer Science.
CSU president Chris Markwood said in the news release, “This new degree is designed to appeal to working professionals and is the next step in the development of our new TSYS Center for Cybersecurity. The demand for this program is very clear.”
According to the Cybersecurity Supply/Demand Heat Map developed for the Department of Homeland Security, the total cybersecurity job openings at the national level are approximately 350,000, with more than 12,700 positions in Georgia, including nearly 600 in Columbus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cybersecurity job postings have increased by 74 percent over the past five years.
Linda Hadley, dean of the Turner College of Business. said in the news release that offering CSU’s master’s degree in cybersecurity management is “in response to the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals across multiple industries to manage and protect infrastructure and informational systems. Columbus is home to several multinational corporations and financial service companies that have a fundamental need for secure technology systems.”
The initial establishment costs for this new program and enhancements are funded from the National Security Agency (NSA) and through an endowment from TSYS. The gift from TSYS also helped CSU buy software and hardware to support program content and created the new cybersecurity center, which was dedicated in October, on the first floor of the Center for Commerce and Technology, Wayne Summers, director of the TSYS School of Computer Science, said in the news release.
In November, CSU announced the hiring of Michael Barker, a former Atlanta technology expert and state-licensed private detective specializing in digital forensics, as director of the TSYS Center for Cybersecurity. Barker is considered an industry leader in cybersecurity, information security and digital forensics, the news release says.