The cost of cybercrime is estimated to reach $6 trillion a year by 2021 according to Cybersecurity Ventures, with hackers hitting high-profile targets such as Equifax, Target, and the FBI. The threat is urgent, the stakes are high, and qualified cybersecurity professionals are in short supply.
That’s why companies are paying high salaries for well-trained cybersecurity professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the median annual salary for information security analysts was $98,350 in May 2018. In addition, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Penn State Berks will begin offering the Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations (CYAOP) degree program in the fall semester of 2019. The program prepares students to protect digital information from attack through cyber defense strategies. From the hacking of critical datasets by a nation-state, to the theft of personal information by cybercriminals, to cyberattacks by terrorist groups, students will learn to analyze security issues from the perspective of human and information systems. They’ll learn to anticipate and identify threats through the mastery of technology, articulate potential impacts to stakeholders, and ensure the safety of online information.
The degree program educates students on the essential concepts of cyber defense and the analytical fundamentals of cybersecurity, with a focus on techniques and strategies for ensuring the safety of online information stored in large and heterogeneous networks that are embedded within and across the complex infrastructures that are pervasive in today’s business, government and military organizations.
The CYAOP major is an interdisciplinary program, drawing from concepts and skills associated with information science, management science, statistics and data science, human behavior, and law and policy. All CYAOP students are required to complete an internship in the field, allowing them to apply what is learned in the classroom to a real-world situation. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research with faculty members, where they investigate important issues related to cybersecurity.
Graduates are in high demand by top companies and government agencies and they will be prepared to join the rapidly growing cybersecurity workforce deployed across organizations of diverse sizes and missions.