Newest major meets needs of a modern world

PNW’s newest major is designed to meet future needs.

Starting this fall, the College of Technology is offering a degree in Cybersecurity. More than 80 students taking Cybersecurity courses last year will transition into the program.

“The bachelor of science in Cybersecurity degree will bring the future of cyber security to the workforce,” said Keyuan Jiang, chair of the Computer Information Technology and Graphics Department.  “Today everything is in the cloud and we need to make sure we are protecting our information.”

Demand for cybersecurity expertise is booming. Over an eight-year period tracked by research company Cybersecurity Ventures the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350%, from one million positions in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2021.  And President Joseph Biden has named cybersecurity one of his administration’s top priorities.

“The bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity will help meet workforce needs that are in very high demand at the state and national levels due to cyber incidents affecting our infrastructure, industry, business and government,” said Niaz Latif, dean of the College of Technology at PNW.

PNW’s program will balance classroom learning with lab-based courses to give students exposure to real-world, day-to-day threats, such as password attacks, social engineering advanced persistent threats, malware and spyware attacks.

“Hands-on experiences led by experts in cybersecurity helps students learn and experience real-life situations that will be used in their careers,” said Jiang.

PNW is the only public university in the area that offers a Cybersecurity degree.