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Cyber Education Pathways at Boise State University

A recent study by Cybersecurity Ventures [1], a respected publisher of cybersecurity content, predicts that 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs around the world will be unfilled by 2021. In the United States, the demand for professionals with cybersecurity expertise is outpacing all other occupations [2]. These reports, along with many others, underpin the need for increasing workforce development initiatives founded in cybersecurity principles. The workforce shortage is across all cybersecurity domains, yet our adversaries are always advancing, always probing for vulnerabilities in corporate enterprise systems, critical infrastructure systems, and vital national security systems.

To combat this persistent threat, which is a 24/7 operation, we need all hands on deck. We must ensure students are positioned to fully support the cyber world; we need people with different perspectives, approaches, ways of thinking, and methods to solve the cyber challenges we are facing and will face. This need is especially pressing when assessing our current and future digital landscape — a tireless and ever expanding connectivity supported by societal needs and economic development, yet compromised by the common criminal to nation-state sponsored criminal activity.

Cyber for ALL (online)

In this technology forward world, one that is expanding more rapidly than society and policy can react, it is imperative that we train all students with fundamental cyber defense skills. Accordingly, all students, no matter the major, should understand the implications of good versus bad cyber hygiene. The Cyber-Physical Systems Security-for-All (aka cyber4all) certificate bridges this gap. This certificate can be added to any degree across campus. If you have any questions, please email cps@boisestate.edu

Cyber Physical Systems Security for All Certificate

Course Number and TitleCredits
CPS 100 Cyber and Physical Security Awareness for All3
CPS 200 Internet of Things: Connected Devices3
CPS 300 Hands-on Security: From Home to Office and Everything in Between3
CPS 302 Incident Response and Recovery3
Total12

Cyber for STEM

We also need our technical students to be cyber proficient, so they can competently navigate their domain space when addressing cyber challenges. We call this cyber-informed engineering. This means that STEM graduates will be aware of cyber issues that impact the security of programs, systems, codes or algorithms they are designing. For any STEM students, you can add one of these certificates to your undergraduate degree.

Security in Cyber Physical Systems Software Focus

Course Number and TitleCredits
ECE 337/CS 330/MATH 337/EGNR 337/ME 337 Introductions to Security in Cyber-Physical Systems3
Choose 2 courses from:

CS 331 Computer Security & Information Assurance

CS 332 Ethical Hacking

CS 333 Networking Security and Defense

MATH 307 Foundations of Cryptology
6
One course selected from a different Security in Cyber-Physical Systems Certificate3
Total12

Security in Cyber Physical Systems Hardware Firmware Focus

Course Number and TitleCredits
ECE 337/CS 330/MATH 337/ENGR 337/ME 337 Introductions to Security in Cyber-Physical Systems3
Choose 2 courses from:

ECE 430 Digital Hardware Design

ECE 432/CS 441 Computer Architecture

ECE 433 Embedded & Portable Computer Systems

ECE 451 Communication Systems

ECE 456 Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
6
One course selected from a different Security in Cyber-Physical Systems Certificate3
Total12

Security in Cyber Physical Systems Power Systems Focus

Course Number and TitleCredits
ECE 337/CS 330/MATH 337/ENGR 337/ME 337 Introductions to Security in Cyber-Physical Systems3
Choose 2 courses from:

ECE 371 Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Systems

ECE 473 Power Systems Analysis I

ECE 474 Power Systems Analysis II
6
One course selected from a different Security in Cyber-Physical Systems Certificate3
Total12

Security in Cyber Physical Systems Industrial Processes Focus

Course Number and TitleCredits
ECE 337/CS 330/MATH 337/ENGR 337/ME 337 Introductions to Security in Cyber-Physical Systems3
Choose 2 courses from:

CS 424 Cyber Security of Critical Infrastructures

ECE 360/ME 360 Systems Modeling and Control

ME 465 Robust Control of Industrial Systems
6
One course selected from a different Security in Cyber-
Physical Systems Certificate
3
Total:12

Cyber Operations (online)

The Cyber Operations Certificate is for students interested in a career dedicated to protecting and defending cyber systems. Through this certificate, students will learn about information assurance, offensive security, defensive security, forensics, and disaster recovery — all of which provide the foundational knowledge needed to become a leader in the cybersecurity field. If you have any questions, please email cps@boisestate.edu

Cyber Operations Certificate

Course Number and TitleCredits
CPS 301 Information Assurance and Critical Thinking3
CPS 412 Foundational Essentials for IT Cybersecurity Practitioners3
Choose 2 courses from:

CPS 401 Defensive Security

CPS 402 Offensive Security

CPS 403 Recovery and Forensics
6
Total12

Cybersecurity Minor

The objective of this minor is to educate students with correct computing ethics and prepare them with enough knowledge to understand the importance of cybersecurity in the workforce as well as the skills to effectively prevent/detect/be aware of possible cyber-crimes. This minor is a great option for students majoring in engineering, mathematics, information technology and management, health sciences and other programs. Graduates who received this minor will be well positioned to jobs that combine their domains with cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Minor

Course Number and TitleCredit
Choose one of the following:

CS 117 C++ for Engineers

CS 121 Computer Science I

ITM 225 Introduction to Programing
3-4
CS-HU 153 Navigating Computer Systems1
Choose one of the following:

CS 230 Ethical Issues in Computing

ITM 305 Info Technology & Network Essentials

MATH 305 Intro to Abstract Algebra & Number Theory

MATH 307* Foundations of Cryptology
3
CS 331 Computer Security and Information Assurance or
ITM 455 Information Security
3
Choose two of the following (at least one CS course):

CS 332 Ethical Hacking

CS 333 Networking Security and Defense

MATH 307* Foundations of Cryptology

MATH 308 Introduction to Algebraic Cryptology

MATH 408 Advanced Asymmetric Cryptography & Cryptanalysis
Total:

*This course cannot be earned more than 3 credits towards the minor
16-17

Cyber Research

To contribute to the leading-edge of cyber security research and development, students must have a deep understanding and demonstratable skills in computing-related domains, such as in software and network engineering, hardware and embedded systems, or data structures and algorithms. For software and network engineering, students can pursue the BS in Computer Science. For hardware and embedded systems, students can pursue the BS in Electrical Engineering. For mathematics and algorithms, students can pursue the BS in Mathematics. The knowledge you gain from any of the above degrees provide the fundamental background needed to work on large project teams dedicated to solving cyber challenges.

IT Management

All organizations need business leaders with a background in information technology. The BS in IT Management provides aspiring leaders in information technology-related fields, including cyber security, the project management, business fundamentals, and technical insight to inform and drive business critical decisions.

Students with Associate Degree

If you have completed an associate’s degree and have an interest in cyber security, we have a pathway for you too. In addition to transferring into any of the degree programs discussed above, other options include pursuing the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) or the Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies programs. Both programs are designed to build on your past education and work experience by providing you the opportunity to apply up to 40 technical education credits to the degree requirements. Working with BAS or MDS advisors, you can make the above cyber courses as part of your bachelor’s degree.

Cyber Graduate Education

As the world becomes more reliant on cyber systems, organizations need professionals with deep foundational knowledge in cyber security who are also able to innovate. Research intensive cyber-related graduate programs, such as the MS in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, or Mathematics or the PhD in Computing as well as the PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering enable students to advance their scientific knowledge and make significant technical contributions to their field.

[1] https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/
[2] https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2018/11/new-data-show-demand-cybersecurity-professionals-accelerating