New York University Tandon School of Engineering, in partnership with New York City Cyber Command (NYC3), launched the New York Cyber Fellows, a unique, affordable online cybersecurity master’s degree program designed in conjunction with elite New York City employers to address the acute shortage of highly trained technical professionals in the city and nation.

It offers scholarships of as much as 75 percent of tuition to U.S. residents, bringing the total tuition for the rigorous, highly technical education to $15,000 for the entire program — the lowest of any cybersecurity master’s degree program in New York City.

“Perhaps the most important element of the New York Cyber Fellows program is the way it will reflect our collaboration with influential New York employers, including the NYC Cyber Command to ensure students get the precise hands-on education they need,” said Professor Nasir Memon, founder of NYU Tandon’s cybersecurity program and Associate Dean for Online Learning. “The NY Cyber Fellows will work on real-world problems and get unprecedented access to our city’s job market.”

“A more affordable degree in this field means more New Yorkers will develop the skills to defend our digital city and land a great job. We’re proud to work in partnership with NYU’s Tandon School to launch the program this fall and I encourage New Yorkers to apply now,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is exactly the kind of program New York needs to attract companies in this fast-growing sector, and to help New Yorkers compete for those good jobs.”

To shape the program, NYU Tandon elicited curriculum recommendations from NYC3 and leading sectors of the city’s economy. Business partners include Blackstone, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bridgewater, EY LLC, Goldman Sachs, IBM Security, Jefferies, Loki Labs, Morgan Stanley, Synack, and U.S. Bank.

NYC3, the agency that leads the City of New York’s cyber defense efforts, will offer Cyber Fellows access to the NYC3 Cyber Range — a virtual laboratory with realistic simulation for hands-on training and development.

“NYC3’s Cyber Range will expose students to simulation, testing, and research into a wide range of security and technology concerns associated with securing one of the largest digital cities in the world,” said Geoff Brown, New York City Chief Information Security Officer and Head of NYC3. “We’re proud to support a program that opens up a career in cyber defense to more students, allowing the next generation of cyber professionals to better resemble the diversity of the society they will be charged to protect.”

The NY Cyber Fellows program answers a call from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York Works initiative to add 10,000 cybersecurity experts to the workforce within a decade. NYU Tandon decided to extend its reach nationally at the encouragement of national employers.

One of the program’s most compelling benefits: A free five-year subscription to audit the newest versions of the online courses that graduates took as NY Cyber Fellows — important because coursework typically updates every semester, as new threats emerge.

“We want our Cyber Fellows to know we will be with them for the long term – and I have no doubt that their experiences in the field will enrich future scholars,” Memon said.

Other elements of the  program include:

  • Exclusive access to speakers, events, and mentorships provided by business partners and NYC3. The advising institutions will also offer internship and employment opportunities, and capstone projects will link student research projects to these institutions.
  • Year-round, around-the-clock access to the Capture the Flag (CTF) and other challenges developed for Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), the giant worldwide cybersecurity games founded by NYU Tandon. Such games are widely used for education and by employers to find the most skilled applicants.
  • Access to Synack’s crowd-sourced penetration testing challenges to build the offensive skills valued by employers — an element of the offensive security skills long recognized as a cornerstone of NYU Tandon’s cybersecurity education.

The program is structured as a part-time curriculum to accommodate working professionals.  For those without an engineering baccalaureate degree, NYU Tandon will offer its Bridge to Tandon to qualified NY Cyber Fellows applicants. It provides the foundation they will need to apply to a master’s degree program in cybersecurity — within 26 weeks and for $1,500.