Cybersecurity curriculum now aligned with new industry guidelines

May 29, 2018

The entrance to the Center for Cyber Security and Intelligence Studies.University of Detroit Mercy, designated a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will soon have another point of pride as it introduces an updated undergraduate curriculum, effective this fall.

This new curriculum will be fully aligned with recently released post-secondary guidelines introduced by the Joint Taskforce on Cybersecurity Education.

“I believe we are the first program in metro Detroit to implement a curriculum that complies with all of these guidelines,” said Rita Barrios, Ph.D., department chair of Cybersecurity & Information Systems. “The global security workforce needs graduates who have a comprehensive understanding of the field, which our revised curriculum and the new guidelines ensure.”

The guidelines, which are the first of their kind, were developed by industry leaders in collaboration with academic professionals to fulfill the growing need for qualified and highly educated cybersecurity professionals. They address the cross-cutting concepts within the disciplines of information technology, information systems, computer engineering and software engineering, as well as other technology-based disciplines and are based around eight knowledge areas: data, software, component, connection, system, human, organizational and societal.

Approximately 1.5 million cybersecurity-related positions will go unfilled by 2022, according to the Global Information Security Workforce Study released last year. And 68 percent of surveyed workers in North America believe this workforce shortage is due to a lack of qualified personnel.

“Cybersecurity is an emerging discipline,” said Barrios.  “Not all undergraduate programs are created equally. The future impact for our students is far-reaching. They will graduate with the skills, critical thinking and knowledge that will allow them be in demand, excel and become leaders in the field.”

Detroit Mercy has long been a pioneer in the field of information assurance, the precursor to cybersecurity. In 2004, the University created the Center for Cybersecurity & Intelligence Studies and received DHS and NSA designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance, which it maintained until 2016, when it was replaced with the new CAD-CD designation. In addition, Daniel Shoemaker, Ph.D., professor and director of Detroit Mercy’s graduate Information Assurance program, was a contributor to the Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education’s knowledge area working group on human security.

— By Amy Skimin. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.