U of I Launches Idaho’s First Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree

U of I Launches Idaho’s First Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree

News Release | University of Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho — June 16, 2020 — The University of Idaho College of Engineering is launching Idaho's first bachelor's degree program in cybersecurity, open to students this fall.

With more than 75 billion internet-connected devices worldwide by 2025, cybersecurity professionals are essential to protecting Idaho’s computing systems, networks and critical infrastructure. A study conducted for the nonprofit Center for Cyber Safety and Education estimates there will be 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2022.

“The University of Idaho has long been a leader in cybersecurity research through partnerships with industry and government that date back more than two decades,” U of I President Scott Green said. “The addition of the state’s first bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity continues that trend. Our students are already in high demand, and this new cybersecurity program will provide a focused curriculum that will further arm them with the crucial skills needed to protect our digital infrastructure.”

As one of the National Security Agency’s first seven National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, U of I is a leader in advanced cybersecurity education and research, spanning more than two decades.

Students have access to the College of Engineering’s global network of leading industry partners, including Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Power, POWER Engineers and Avista Utilities.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, labs and resources, students in the new degree program pursue a set of courses to become cybersecurity professionals with the most current knowledge and skills.  They also have opportunities to participate in lab-based research aimed at strengthening cybersecurity protocols and developing inherently cyber-secure industrial control systems.

“We continue to see security challenges in industry and government,” said Larry Stauffer, dean of the U of I College of Engineering. “Idaho needs graduates specifically educated to meet these challenges. Whether these challenges are to protect personal information, financial data, critical infrastructure or everyday devices, these concerns will be with us for a long time.”

Global power systems protection leader SEL and the College of Engineering began a $2.5 million partnership in April. The five-year agreement will support the cybersecurity program through ongoing research projects and faculty and graduate student assistance.

With support from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the College of Engineering developed a distributed testbed connecting cyberattack response research infrastructure in Moscow, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

Work is being done to build a network between U of I’s Reconfigurable Attack-Defend Instructional Computing Laboratories in Idaho Falls and Moscow to allow students to simulate cyberattack and defense protocols within isolated labs.

Since 2002, the U of I Center for Secure and Dependable Systems has awarded nearly $9 million in undergraduate tuition to students participating in the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.

Funded through the National Science Foundation, the SFS program provides tuition stipends of up to $25,000 for an undergraduate and $34,000 for a graduate student for cybersecurity training for positions at the federal, state, local and tribal levels. 

Learn more about this new degree program at uidaho.edu/bs-cybersecurity.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at www.uidaho.edu.

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