UC adds cybersecurity engineering degree

New bachelor’s degree complements various university initiatives in the cybersecurity field

The University of Cincinnati introduced a new bachelor’s of science degree in cybersecurity engineering; the first cohort of students joined in the fall of 2021. The program complements UC’s various initiatives during the last five years to meet the quickly expanding need for a capable cybersecurity workforce. 

Housed in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), the cybersecurity engineering degree blends knowledge in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, political science and ethics to develop engineers capable of designing and analyzing the secure systems needed in today’s world. 

With cybersecurity impacting everyone from individuals to businesses to government, demand for cybersecurity experts is high. Employment growth for cybersecurity-related occupations is expected to rise by more than 30 percent within the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“The job market in cybersecurity and engineering is growing at an astounding rate, and the long-term future is very bright,” said Marty Emmert, UC professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

The job market in cybersecurity and engineering is growing at an astounding rate.

Marty Emmert Professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Students majoring in cybersecurity engineering at UC will develop the skills to build secure and reliable computer and communication systems, and they will learn to measure, identify and respond to security vulnerabilities and threats. During the last two years of their degree, students will choose a focus area in advanced cybersecurity, including cyber-attack and defense, network and data security, and hardware and cyber-physical system security. 

The degree incorporates the college’s nationally recognized cooperative education (co-op) program, which enables undergraduate students to graduate with nearly two years of major-specific professional work experience with such companies as Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen, Edaptive Computing and others, as well as government laboratories like Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the National Security Agency.   

“In the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, cybersecurity is now the umbrella to a wide variety of flourishing research topics, including artificial intelligence, software engineering, Big Data, high performance computing, wireless communications, robotics and intelligent autonomous systems, and sensors and microsystems. This sets the path for a much-needed national initiative in which cybersecurity will be the umbrella which protects all personal and global aspects of our lives,” said Marc Cahay, professor and department head of EECS.

The addition of the new cybersecurity engineering degree is another step in UC’s initiatives to prepare students to enter the workforce in cybersecurity. 

UC serves as the headquarters for the Ohio Cyber Range Institute, a collaborative network that supports an integrated approach to cybersecurity education, workforce and economic development across Ohio. Sponsored by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Adjutant General's Department office of the Ohio National Guard, the Ohio Cyber Range Institute is a unique collaboration across UC, with co-directors Marc Cahay, head of EECS; Hazem Said, director of the School of Information Technology; and Richard Harknett, head of the Department of Political Science.

Additionally, UC leads the National Science Foundation-sponsored Industry/University Collaborative Research Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST), which is directed by EECS professor Marty Emmert. CHEST is a national research center focused on working with industry partners to ensure connected electronic devices and networks are protected from outside attack. CHEST is a collaboration with five other research universities. 

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