The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and UAH's Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education (CCRE) have launched a new Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program.

The cybersecurity undergraduate degree is intended to prepare graduates for a career in cybersecurity engineering, secure software development, cybersecurity test and evaluation, offensive security, systems architecture, reverse engineering, and/or emerging cybersecurity problem-solving.

"Our new bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity program is unique in the state of Alabama as it prepares students to work in cybersecurity-intensive jobs that require students to have a thorough understanding of modern computing systems from both a hardware and software perspective," says Dr. Tommy Morris, CCRE director and computer engineering professor. "They will be able to identify and mitigate computing system vulnerabilities and apply security principles and practices to the design and implementation of the physical, software, and human components of the system.

The 124-credit-hour program of study includes UAH’s "Charger Success: First Year Experience for Engineers" course, foundational courses in the liberal and fine arts, laboratory sciences, mathematics, computing fundamentals, a technical elective, and the following cybersecurity courses: Introduction to Cybersecurity, Systems Security, Mobile Digital Forensics, Secure Software Development, Cybersecurity Management, Network Security, and Software Reverse Engineering. Students will also be expected to complete a cybersecurity capstone course, in which they will work as a team to conduct and document a risk assessment for a target system and then design, implement, and test cybersecurity controls to mitigate any threats to the system.

The ultimate hope is that the two degree programs will help address the growing demand for cybersecurity experts, 1.5 million of whom will be needed to accommodate the predicted global shortfall by 2020 according to a 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study by (ISC)2. "Cybersecurity is a national, state, and local priority for both industry and government," says Dr. Morris. "This Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is a reflection of and response to that growing cybersecurity momentum and will serve both the region and the state by developing a workforce in a growing, high-technology field that historically has very high salaries."