LETTER: New cybersecurity program at U. will be beneficial to students

Rutgers will begin training new problem solvers in the fight against increasing cybercrime and threats to physical infrastructure, equipping these creative defenders with the tools to combat the ever-evolving landscape of computer and human psychology exploits.

The 24-week online Cybersecurity Certificate Program, which will start on Nov. 27 at a cost of $7,500 for a select 75 applicants, was developed with funding from the United States Department of Defense and features a curriculum crafted in partnership with government-selected information security professionals.

The program will provide students with practical, job-ready skills, mentorships and a knowledge base upon which to build a broad foundation of defensive and offensive cyber skills, according to a statement by the Center for Innovation Education at Rutgers University (RIE), which partnered with Socratic Arts, Inc., to launch the course.

The topics to be explored include: open source intelligence gathering, evading antivirus and intrusion detection systems, social engineering and spear phishing.

As a Rutgers alumna and cyber analyst for CyberPrivacy, I applaud Rutgers for launching this program. Our digitally connected lives, businesses’ vitality and our national security rely upon a secure, agile and resilient internet.

This program was launched in response to the fact that the industry is facing a major skills shortage. By 2022, there will be 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs, according to the recent Global Information Security Workforce Study. The authors of that study polled 19,000 cybersecurity professionals globally and found that women make up 10 percent of the cybersecurity jobs globally, and those under the age of 30 represent only 7 percent of the current workforce.

The cybersecurity field has evolved from a small niche filled with a few companies to an essential industry needed to protect, support and accelerate innovation and growth in the global economy. It is critical that the upcoming generation of the workforce is ready to fill the cybersecurity industry with bright talent who can combine broad technical skills with specific security expertise, an understanding of business risk and an ability to communicate effectively between tech and business units.

The demand for an interdisciplinary approach to cyber defense is growing much faster than the supply. The Rutgers Cybersecurity Workforce Training Program can help close the skills-gap and make enterprises, governments and entities defendable, agile and resilient against sophisticated attacks.

Marilia Wyatt is a School of Arts and Sciences and Eagleton Institute of Politics alumna and the founder of CyberPrivacy.

*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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