A Program for the Future: New England College’s Online BS in Cybersecurity
The Need for Cybersecurity
The headlines have become all too common. A sweeping data breach here. A costly account compromise there. Another addition to the growing list of cyber threats, scam tactics, and fraud alerts lurking around every corner of our digital lives.
The world continues to become more digitized, and the devices we use continue to become smarter. This new digital frontier offers convenience and efficiency, for sure, but it also proves to be a playground for cyber criminals. The need to combat these criminals is great, making cybersecurity one of the fastest growing academic programs and career fields. New England College helps meet this need with its online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.
“The need for cybersecurity is everywhere and more important than ever,” states Rick Mitchell emphatically. He serves as Program Director for the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems at New England College. His career includes extensive experience in computer programming and project management, and he has seen first-hand the rise of cyber threats and the need for cybersecurity.
“As the world became more connected, companies and IT professionals initially focused on disaster recovery,” Mitchell explains. “Now the focus has to be on security, proactively protecting assets and private information and reducing the risks as much as possible. Over the last 10–15 years, we have learned that companies—even countries—can be brought to their knees because of a cyberattack on their systems. Cyber threats aren’t going to stop; if anything, they’re only going to get worse.”
What Does a Career in Cybersecurity Look Like?
Cybersecurity touches every aspect of IT, from specialized security roles to traditional roles. Computer network specialists design, monitor, and maintain the networks that tie together all aspects of a company. Website designers are concerned about website security, naturally. Project managers have an eye on a company’s overall security as well as its efficiency. It is imperative in today’s world that a variety of IT roles be knowledgeable in identifying and helping prevent cyber threats.
These roles are also either directly related to cybersecurity or enhanced by knowledge of cybersecurity principles:
- Information security specialist
- Program manager
- Security analyst
- Security architect
- Security engineer
- Software engineer
- Systems administrator
- Systems engineer
How Is This Program Designed?
New England College designed its online BS in Cybersecurity to follow the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) model. This model establishes core program standards and is sponsored by both the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Students in this program, Mitchell adds, learn to anticipate how cybercriminals think. Students ask, “If we wanted to commit this cybercrime, how would we do it and how would we keep from getting caught?” This method helps students put their training into practice to detect and resolve weaknesses that could leave a company open to a legitimate cyberattack.
This program offers two tracks: technical and business. The technical track caters to programmers, database specialists, and networkers. The business track is ideal for project managers and other leadership roles.
This program also offers certifications through Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a top IT trade association. Students can become certified in Security Analyst, Network, Cloud, Linux, and more. These certifications give Cybersecurity students deeper knowledge of specific topics and further demonstrate training to potential employers.
Why Is NEC’s BS in Cybersecurity Unique?
“Our instructors,” Mitchell immediately responded. “We’re proud to have highly experienced instructors, some of whom are doing amazing cybersecurity work with partners outside of New England College. Some of them hold Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications. They know their stuff, and our students will benefit from that.”
Mitchell also notes that this program is unique because it follows the CAE IA/CD model and offers CompTIA certifications. “Our graduates will be able to walk into a job interview and show practical, real-world proof of their cybersecurity training and readiness.”
Additionally, this program is offered fully online, so students can pursue their education in a convenient format that works for them.
Different organizations face different security concerns and threats. New England College’s BS in Cybersecurity teaches the principles that can be applied to organizations of all sizes so that our graduates can make those organizations more secure from day one.