Is your cybersecurity program on track?

Cybersecurity education can vary among institutions, but new curricula guidelines can help unify the emerging field

A recently released set of cybersecurity curriculum recommendations aims to improve postsecondary cybersecurity education and produce graduates ready to fill alarming workforce gaps.

The new set of guidelines, Cybersecurity Education Curriculum (CSEC2017), is necessary to keep pace with the world’s growing dependence on cyber infrastructure, which spans everything from financial services and utilities to government systems and citizens’ personal information.

The recommendations are the product of a two-year joint task force led by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS). The ACM identifies five primary computing disciplines as part of cybersecurity: computer engineering, computer science, information systems, information technology, and software engineering.

Government and non-government sources estimate that 1.8 million cybersecurity-related positions worldwide will go unfilled by the year 2022, prompting academic departments to launch initiatives that establish new cybersecurity degree programs or add cybersecurity education onto existing degree programs.

But part of the problem, academic experts say, is the field’s fledgling nature. Because it is a new and growing discipline, it offers great potential for those interested in holding cybersecurity jobs–but institutions’ approaches to cybersecurity education, and their very definition of the field, can vary widely.

Laura Ascione

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