Security. We seek it in our personal lives, finances, relationships, national safety, and, increasingly, in our computer information and transactions. Personal, business and government computers are under attack from hackers in far-off countries and, perhaps, as close as down the street. Regent’s new degree program will meet the tremendous demand to train undergraduate students in cybersecurity.
“One of the big things that people are concerned about now is cybersecurity,” says Regent’s founder, chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “Your computer is getting hacked all the time. They’re hacking department stores and the Defense Department, so, I think there’s a tremendous demand for cybersecurity. If we can train people to know something about it, we’ll be adding a lot to the intellectual corpus of our nation.”
A 2014 Gallup poll revealed that more than two-thirds of Americans worry about hackers stealing their credit card information, while 62 percent fear having their computer or smartphone hacked. By offering a degree in this important discipline, Regent is on the leading edge of meeting societal and educational needs.
“Regent University will invest its resources to ensure that it prepares students to be influential leaders in this important domain.”
“Cybersecurity is an area of strategic national importance,” explains Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). “Regent University will invest its resources to ensure that it prepares students to be influential leaders in this important domain.”
Ryan Connor is one of the first students to enroll in Regent’s new cybersecurity degree program. He hopes it will open the door to a successful military career: “With technology being so prominent today, we need people in this country to help defend our most important informational assets. Each branch of the military is looking for people to become experts in the areas of counter intelligence, counter terrorism and counter hacking. I have the opportunity to place God in the center of America’s cybersecurity, which is something this country desperately needs.”
CAS has offered a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Technology since 2009. The original program offered a blended core of information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) courses with a concentration in either general business courses or IS security courses. With the growing popularity of the term “cybersecurity,” Regent investigated the possibility of changing the name of the IS security concentration.
Dr. Young Choi, an expert in IT security, and Professor Michele LaCorte, a former IT security technician, are two Regent faculty members who were part of a small committee that reviewed data from other undergraduate schools and cybersecurity programs. They also evaluated Regent’s existing curriculum to determine what would need to be changed, removed or added for the university to offer a competitive B.S degree.
Choi says that, in this age of globalization, it’s important for Regent to offer a strong cybersecurity program: “Our students can get good opportunities to learn the latest advanced security technologies which are necessary to protect precious resources in cyberspace.” He adds, “Students can contribute their acquired cybersecurity knowledge to protect the infrastructure of our nation, such as government agencies, the military, manufacturing, service, education and other private, public and non-profit sectors, and the citizens of America.”
“As to why Regent has an interest in this discipline, I guess it’s because we have always been interested in security – eternal security,” says Dr. Robert Stewart, professor and chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics for CAS. He wants to see Regent become a nationally recognized leader in cybersecurity.
“As to why Regent has an interest in this discipline, I guess it’s because we have always been interested in security – eternal security,”
“It is the highest priority for both business and the American public as a whole,” Stewart explains. “In a national poll released just a few weeks ago, the number-one issue that produced the greatest worry in business leaders was identified as cybersecurity (or the lack thereof). That’s up from third in the rankings of a year ago.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, demand for cybersecurity jobs is soaring, which makes it a very smart – and potentially lucrative – career path. A 2013 InformationWeek salary survey found that the median staff salary for IT security professionals was $95,000. The average manager salary was even higher at $120,000 per year.
“Beyond cybersecurity, the university will leverage other related majors like mathematics and computer science to develop other important and innovative academic programs in the field of technology,” says Moreno-Riaño. “In today’s market, technology companies have led significant cultural and social transformations. Regent will work diligently to have an influential place at this important conversation.”
For additional information about a cybersecurity degree from Regent University’s College of Arts & Sciences, visit regent.edu/cas or call 888.718.1222.