The Cybersecurity program prepares highly marketable graduates, with the technical and professional skills to take lead roles in applications of information security.
Our program caters to working professionals, with the majority of coursework delivered online. Two brief residencies ensure graduates develop necessary hands-on skills and build a solid network of other future leaders in the field.
The program will engage students in:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for Information Security Analysts is expected to increase at a much higher than average rate over the next decade, at 18% from 2014-2024. Similarly, The Illinois Department of Employment Security projects over 30% growth in the profession from 2012-2022. There is significant and growing demand for professionals with an information security background, and not enough supply of graduates to meet this request. The M.S. in Cybersecurity is designed for working professionals with general information technology experience to specialize in this growing field to help fill the projected demand for security expertise and to provide accessible professional growth opportunities for Illinois professionals and those from other areas interested in cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity program prepares our students to become leaders and technical managers in cybersecurity, which requires a solid understanding of security technology and organizational management principles and practices for graduates to make sensible and responsible decisions. Typical positions include (but are not limited to):
The M.S. in Cybersecurity requires successful completion of 32 semester hours of coursework. The program courses are designed to provide a well-rounded balance among technical, administrative and design applications in cybersecurity. Because of its focus on practitioners, the decision was made to offer a culminating residential capstone experience, rather than require completion of a thesis. This comprehensive course will separate students into teams that use the knowledge acquired throughout the program to design, implement and administrate security for a computer network. Each team will then be tasked with breaking into another team’s defense system. Post-exercise, the evaluation will include discussion, team presentations, and written reports applying program concepts to evaluate the experience, describe lessons learned, produce an IT risk assessment and security audit, and develop organizational security policies and plans.
The EIU Cybersecurity program is designed to prepare graduates to take relevant certification exams, specifically CISCO Certified Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and the COMPTIA Security+. According to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), are requisites for entering and performing successfully in the cybersecurity profession. Online laboratories will allow students to practice at their convenience so they can sustain growth at their own pace or experiment with alternatives not discussed in class or as part of individual assignments or projects.
Faculty in the program have all experience teaching technology security related courses at the undergraduate and the master’s levels but a combination of certifications and technical courses aimed to show practical technological applications. They are actively engaged in professional development and research in their respective specialized areas. Faculty members are always dedicated to a genuine success of the students.
Students in the M.S. in Cybersecurity will have a chance to attend, publish and present their course special projects or research in this annual conference aimed to engage and interchange professional experiences with other professionals in cybersecurity. Also, former EIU cybersecurity students working as cybersecurity specialists in top notch companies (i.e. Google, AT&T) will be invited to share their experiences via online conferences at which our students can ask questions regarding their future opportunities as cybersecurity specialists.