Study: Computer science ed faces cybersecurity gap
- A recent study by IT security company CloudPassage found the University of Alabama to be the only institution out of 121 to require a minimum of three cybersecurity courses for graduation in its computer science program — and only three of Business Insider's top 50 computer science programs required any cybersecurity coursework at all.
- Campus Technology reports Tuskegee University and Rochester Institute of Technology were found to offer the most cybersecurity courses at 10 each, trailed closely by DePaul University and the University of Maryland.
- The numbers highlight a cybersecurity education gap among graduates that experts find particularly troubling as hackers use increasingly sophisticated methods to gain access to private information.
The scale and intricacy of hacking incidents isnt likely to diminish anytime soon, as shown in a May 2014 Ponemon Institute report that found 110 million American adults and 432 million accounts had personal data exposed during the preceding months, according to Campus Technology. The publication also notes a "60 Minutes" report last month in which German hackers demonstrated how easy it is to access information on cell phones.
The CloudPassage study notes the U.S. had 200,000 cybersecurity jobs available in 2015 alone, and college may be too late to try attracting students to the field. As Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus Co-Chair and former House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) says, there's really no such thing as introducing the field to students "too early" during K-12. Campus Technology equates expecting students to enter the field after being first introduced to it in high school to expecting them to pick up an instrument and start playing with no previous lessons.
That said, some tech giants are getting ahead of the problem. Facebook, for example, is addressing security engineer shortages by setting up competitions where students at the middle school level and up play a Risk-style game that challenges them to answer information security questions and hack websites or services to gain territory. The approach has already seen success as a recruitment tool, Nextgov reports.
- Campus Technology The Shocking Data Security Gap in Computer Science Education
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