Dakota State Univ. to Offer Doctoral Degree in Cybersecurity

The program prepares students for cybersecurity careers in government agencies, the private sector, and as higher education faculty.

MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State University has been approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents to offer a doctoral degree in cybersecurity. The Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity will first be offered with the Spring 2015 semester. The curriculum will be grounded in computer science and emphasize applied research in cybersecurity.

According to the university, the degree will produce highly qualified graduates with a commanding knowledge of cybersecurity to support federal, state and local government agencies, along with the private sector, by providing highly skilled professionals to conduct cutting-edge research and work.
The D.Sc. in Cybersecurity will capitalize on DSU’s strengths in computer technology degree programs, which include computer science, information systems, cyber operations and network and security administration. DSU graduates the largest number of baccalaureate students in computer-related degrees in South Dakota, according to the university. The graduates often transition into the established computer-related master’s programs at DSU.

The doctoral cybersecurity graduates are expected to be hired by three distinct groups, including private industry, state and local government agencies, and institutions of higher education. “Graduates will be prepared to focus on technologies and techniques related to specialized cyber operations activities, including data collection, software exploitation, analysis of malicious code, and reverse engineering,” according to a press release.

There are nearly 25,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions with the federal government alone, not to mention the unfilled positions in the private sector. In addition, the national shortage of faculty with expertise in technical cybersecurity continues to grow at the same rate as the shortage of competent cybersecurity professionals in federal agencies, the university states. The new D.Sc. in Cybersecurity will help address that issue at the root by not only training highly qualified professionals to fill those positions, but also train cybersecurity faculty who can have an exponential impact in providing a qualified work force.

Further enhancing career opportunities for the D.Sc. Cybersecurity graduates, the university says it has developed robust partnerships with both governmental and private organizations. Examples include the National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Navy SPAWAR, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, Army INSCOM, Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute and MIT’s Lincoln Labs.

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