As the need for increased cybersecurity is acknowledged, universities across the United States are looking to help fill the gap with well-trained graduates. Each of the following universities are certified National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Schools must meet a number of stringent criteria in order to receive certification. Below are The New New Internet‘s top picks of programs preparing future cybersecurity professionals.
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Mass.
With a computer science program that allows undergraduate students to concentrate in information assurance, UMass Amherst is a leader in turning out skilled information assurance professionals that often are hired by private-sector organizations like Raytheon.
University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
UMD’s Cyber Defense Lab enables students to gain practical experience in cybersecurity. U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Colleges Guide just placed UMD on its list of universities that provide the best opportunities for student undergraduate research. Booz Allen Hamilton already has an aggressive cyber-recruiting schedule at UMD, and other major cybersecurity firms are sure to follow suit.
Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
The Center for Computer Security and Research at Mississippi State is one of the key research centers for information security, developing advancements to secure America’s cybersecurity infrastructure. The program helps to place many of the graduating students with positions at the National Security Agency, CIA, and the Armed Forces.
Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
The National Science Foundation recently gave a Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service grant to Syracuse for graduate education in Systems Assurance. Syracuse’s graduate program in systems assurance also partners with National Defense University and the Air Force Research Laboratory in New York.
Oklahoma State University, Okla.
Oklahoma State offers a scholarship on behalf of the Department of Defense for undergraduate and graduate students concentrating in information assurance. A number of the faculty has research grants awarded by DoD.
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
With the Laboratory for Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems, Pitt has a long track record of educating some of the best and brightest in cybersecurity, having opened its doors in 1962. The university was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service awards.
West Chester University, West Chester, Pa.
The Information Security Center at WCU offers courses that are certified by the National Security Agency to meet the National Training Standards for Information Systems Security Professionals and Systems Administrators. Educating all Computer Science graduates about information security is a central tenet of the program.
University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas
With the help of several DoD scholarships and a long-standing partnership with the National Defense University, the University of Texas provides a steady stream of highly skilled and qualified graduates to the information security sector. Many faculty members have also received federal research grants.
George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.
The Center for Secure Information Systems at GMU offers programs dedicated to information security. The Center is sponsored by government and private sector alike, including BAE Systems, Air Force Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
The University of Washington’s Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity helps to teach and develop some of the future leaders in cyber security. With partnerships with industry leaders like Boeing and Microsoft as well as the Armed Forces, center graduates can be found in organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Homeland Security.