College of Engineering News Room

New M.S. in Cybersecurity Degree Creates a Valuable Career Path for Engineering Students

MS in Cybersecurity

The need for modern societies to protect their exchange of information from cyberattacks grows more important every day. Computer hackers continue to search for system vulnerabilities to successfully target and cripple vital operations. The scale of such attacks is expanding, and the field of cybersecurity has now become a crucial focus area for government, military, and commercial organizations. Therefore, there is an overtly strong demand for graduates with advanced technical skills and training within this field.

“Recognizing the importance of this field, we plan to launch a new technically focused M.S. in Cybersecurity in Fall 2022,” said Robert Bishop, Dean of the College of Engineering.  “This program represents a joint initiative between our electrical engineering, computer science and engineering, and industrial and management systems engineering departments. It also provides a strong complement to our highly-successful BS in Cybersecurity degree which started in 2018.”

College of Engineering department chairs, Chris Ferekides (EE), Sudeep Sarkar (CSE) and Tapas Das (IMSE), the program directors and faculty member Simon Ou (CSE) were instrumental in developing the curriculum as well as getting it approved.  

The new MS in Cybersecurity offers a well-structured core foundation in data networks and security, advanced programming, and cryptography/data security. Students then have the option to select from a wide range of electives to customize their study in specific areas, such as wireless security, mobile computing, network programming, penetration testing, embedded systems, cryptographic hardware, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cyber analytics, and cyber physical systems.

Detailing the new program, director, Nasir Ghani, electrical engineering, and associate director Mehran Kermani, computer science and engineering, agreed that from the outset their vision was to develop an engineering-based curriculum that addresses market needs and delivers in-depth knowledge and training with state-of-the-art technologies and practices. They also wanted a multi-disciplinary focus that leverages the diverse strengths of the faculty.  Their approach differentiates the program from other offerings and will allow graduates to pursue diverse roles ranging from cybersecurity design/development, testing, operations, certification, and research.

“Clearly, the field of cybersecurity will continue to grow for many years to come," said Bishop. "Our mission is to provide students with a solid foundation for lifelong learning and equip them with the requisite skills to build successful cybersecurity careers in private industry, government, or defense.”

"We are very grateful to the leadership at Cyber Florida and members of our Industry Advisory Boards for their crucial inputs and guidance," said Ghani.  "We are already seeing extremely high interest in the new program and expect it to be off to a very strong start in falll 2022.”

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the program website for more details. Applicants can also contact the Director of this new program, Nasir Ghani, the Associate Director, Mehran Kermani, or the student advisor, Diana Hamilton with any further queries.