The Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance & Cyber Defense program prepares prospective students with the knowledge and skill set necessary for future computing and cybersecurity professionals to build, maintain and protect networks and computer systems in both government and industry.
The program has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) as the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Defense (CD) education (DHS/NSA CAE-IA/CD).
This major is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET-CAC):
This is a designated STEM program (see OPT Extension).
The Information Assurance and Cyber Defense program emphasizes design, integration, administration, hardening, and protection of all types of computer information systems and network infrastructures in modern cyber environments. Students are immersed in solid theories as well as intensive hands-on practical experiences to enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities applied to all elements in modern computing disciplines. The curriculum covers:
- Computing and networking theories/practices
- System architecture and administration, integration and troubleshooting
- Cybersecurity threat/risk evaluation
- Incident response analysis and practice
- Network/digital forensics and investigation
- Penetration testing and system auditing
- Cyber laws, legislation, policy/compliance, and project management
Per the U.S. Department of Labor 2018 handbook, computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $84,580 in May 2017, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690. Graduates are in demand to work in private, public, and government agencies. Recent graduates have held positions at Amazon, Dell SecureWorks, Duo Security, Google, Snapchat, General Electric, and Dominos Corporate.