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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.
Cyber Operations, a more specific area of cybersecurity, is a highly technical field with a hardcore focus on both cyber offense and defense strategies. Discovering and investigating sophisticated breaches and providing adequate responses, going beyond the minds of hackers and analyzing their techniques, tactics, and procedures, intelligence gathering, malware analysis, and reversing are some critical aspects of the cyber operations program.
The 142 credits combined (BS + MS) program will provide students an option to graduate with both BS and MS degrees in Cybersecurity in an accelerated fashion (with money/time savings) and enter the workforce quicker than the traditional route.
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. Click here for more details about the BS in Cybersecurity program.
The MS in Cyber Operations has a hardcore focus on both cyber offense and defense strategies. Discovering and investigating sophisticated breaches and providing adequate responses, going beyond the minds of hackers and analyzing their techniques, tactics, and procedures, intelligence gathering, malware analysis, and reversing are some critical aspects of the cyber operations program. The program provides an interdisciplinary course of study, including aspects of information technology, law, policy, human factors and risk management, often in the context of adversaries. Click here for more details about the MS in Cyber Operations program.
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 (https://mncyber.org) 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 (https://mncyber.org/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.
With a graduate degree in cyber operations, there is no limit to what a student can accomplish. The MS in Cyber Operations program will enable graduates to seek employment opportunities in the military, government, and private sectors including the National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Defense (DoD), Navy Space and Naval Warfare System Command, and National Labs (Sandia National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory).
Potential cybersecurity career titles include Security Auditor/Manager, Security Administrator, Security Analyst/Architect/Engineer, Penetration Tester, Vulnerability Assessor, Incident Responder, and Secure Software Developer.
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.
After earning the MS in Cybersecurity, students will:
- Analyze adversaries’ tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and understand their attack strategies to identify potential attack vectors to strategically improve defenses against advanced persistent threats.
- Recommend security plans, strategies, and appropriate countermeasures to upper management based on observed attack patterns.
- Apply advanced techniques such as malware analysis and reverse engineering to obtain threat intelligence; correlate relevant data to confirm breaches; and identify attack vectors, targets, and the scope of the attacks.
- Identify, analyze, and synthesize scholarly and professional literature on cyber operations and related areas.
- Demonstrate proficiency in communicating technical information in formal reports, documentation, and oral presentations to various stakeholders regardless of their technical backgrounds.
- Understand the importance of team dynamics to provide an adequate response to sophisticated breaches.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to and sound judgment on ethical issues and dilemmas as they arise in cybersecurity and operations and will adhere to accepted norms of professional responsibility.