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Cybersecurity is a computing-based field that prepares individuals for careers in securing computer systems. It is an interdisciplinary course of study, including instruction in information technology and assurance, computer architecture, programming and systems analysis; cryptography; security system design; applicable law and regulations; risk assessment and policy analysis; contingency planning; investigation techniques; and troubleshooting, often in the context of adversaries.
Students completing the BS in Cybersecurity major will learn to assess the security needs of computer and network systems, recommend safeguard solutions to prevent unwanted security breaches, and manage the implementation of security devices, systems and procedures. The program emphasizes lab-based courses designed to provide students with the conceptual and technical background necessary to secure jobs in cybersecurity and related areas.
Metropolitan State University is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CAE-CDE institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation's information systems. The Cybersecurity program curriculum also conforms to the NSA requirements for maintaining the CAE-CDE designation.
Positioned under the College of Sciences, MN Cyber Institute is a statewide initiative to position Minnesota as a national leader in cybersecurity through education, innovative public/private partnerships, interdisciplinary research, and community engagement. MN Cyber advisory board comprises of representatives from public/private sectors who provide advice and guidance on the Institute’s strategic plans and performance as well as ensure that Metro's cyber-related program offerings are relevant, valuable, and targeted to meet workforce needs.
Cybersecurity is in very high demand as a career field, with the projected number of jobs growing 28% over the next decade and starting salaries for well-qualified BS graduates approaching $100,000/year.
Potential cybersecurity career titles include Security Auditor/Manager, Security Administrator, Security Analyst/Architect/Engineer, Penetration Tester, Vulnerability Assessor, Incident Responder, and Secure Software Developer.
Program Educational Objectives
The cybersecurity major program is designed to help graduates achieve the following career and professional objectives. The program's graduates will:
- Contribute to their communities and societies in the area of cybersecurity and demonstrating an understanding of contemporary security issues, both technological and societal.
- Advance their careers through the application of their cybersecurity knowledge.
- Work effectively as team members and demonstrating ethical and responsible behaviors.
- Apply cybersecurity methods and concepts to the general area of their bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
- Maintain their skills through continuing professional development and life-long learning.
The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity consists of 70 credits, of which 30 credits are prerequisites taken prior to declaring the major, 32 credits are required core courses, 4 credits of elective courses from a selected list, and 4 credits are from a senior capstone project or a cyber-residency program.
Students must complete a minimum of 20 credit hours of their major required courses and/or major electives at Metropolitan State University. In addition, students must complete at least 30 credits at Metropolitan State University in order to graduate.
After earning the BS in Cybersecurity, students will:
- Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of cybersecurity concepts, tools, and technologies to prevent, detect, react, and recover from cyber-attacks.
- Articulate cybersecurity risks, threats, and countermeasures and apply this understanding to develop cyber defense strategies.
- Demonstrate the ability to design secure systems to meet organizational needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, and ethical expectations.
- Demonstrate proficiency in communicating technical information in formal reports, documentation, and oral presentations to users and security professionals.
- Identify, analyze, and synthesize scholarly and professional literature relating to the field of cybersecurity to help solve specific problems and to stay abreast of the rapidly changing security context.
- Participate as an active and productive member of a project team engaged in achieving solutions to specific cybersecurity-related problems.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to and sound judgment on ethical issues as they arise in information security and cyber defense and will adhere to accepted norms of professional responsibility.