Academic programs designated by NSA, DHS give students better shot at advancement in high-stakes, high-dollar field of cyber security

Many of those enrolled in the UH graduate program already are information technology professionals who aim to climb the corporate ladder or join the government work force at more advanced grades. Others, like alumnus Chad Van Zandt, move straight into the program after finishing undergraduate work.

After getting his bachelor’s degree in information systems in 2004, Van Zandt enrolled in the technology project management graduate program and soon after began working as an intern at Gray Hat Research Corp. Upon graduation in 2006 with his information assurance certification, he was promoted to executive director of educational services and consulting for the company in California.

“To say the valuable knowledge and experience gained from this program has played a vital role in my career development would be an understatement,” he said.

While career advancement is possible without the certification, Gibson said, those who do obtain it are more likely to enter into the work force at a higher rung and rise more quickly.

“If you look across the global regulatory world, there’s less and less tolerance for inappropriate information handling,” explained Rogers, whose company has hired two graduates of the UH program. “As everything goes electronic, they’re hiring the best people to go to battle.”

Each institution designated as a center of excellence in information assurance education must recertify its courses and submit an application for renewal as a center of excellence every five years. Students who attend designated institutions are eligible for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

Angela Hopp is a professional writer, editor, and designer who has previously worked at midsize and major metropolitan newspapers and university communication offices

One Comment

  1. Alisdair McKenzie Aug 18, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Several leaders in the field lack confidence in the efficacy of the CAE program. See Gene Spafford’s post and others comments at . Spaff explains why Purdue is now longer part of the CAE program. Excellence is by definition relatively rare, only in Lake Woebegon can all the children be above average!

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