OC launches new cybersecurity degrees

Apr 17, 2018

While more of the world moves data and transactions online, the need for cybersecurity professionals has rapidly increased. To help meet that demand, Oklahoma Christian University will introduce new cybersecurity degrees (undergraduate and graduate with a cybersecurity focus) this fall.  

San Francisco-based publisher Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity openings worldwide by 2021, up from 1 million just last year. There were 350,000 openings in the U.S. alone in 2017, and those jobs pay very well, according to Payscale.com. The median entry-level salary is $88,000; positions in many cities exceed six-figures.

“These new cybersecurity degrees are a logical extension of our computer science strengths,” said David North, associate professor of computer science and director of computer science advancement at OC. “Companies know our students will be prepared and ethical, and our graduates will be well-paid for their hard work.”

Given its strong reputation, OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will offer the new degrees. OC has hired Curtis Coleman as a professor of cybersecurity and computer science. He has worked in information security for decades, most recently serving as vice president and chief information security officer at Seagate Technology in Oklahoma City. Coleman worked at Seagate for more than 16 years, and he served with the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves before that. His doctoral studies were at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

“We are honored that a professor with Curtis’ combination of professional and academic accomplishments will help prepare our students,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs at OC. “What is even more exciting is how he will mix those talents with his passion for faith. We are confident students will receive a premiere cybersecurity education at OC.”

Courses that students will take include Introduction to Cybersecurity, Network Security, Cloud Architecture and Security and Network Forensics, among others. Job positions that students would be qualified for after receiving these degrees are Information Security Analyst, Application Security Analyst and Cyber Forensics Analyst, among others.The degrees also prepare students for several valuable cybersecurity certifications. Prospective students can learn more from OC's website about the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree focus.