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Boise State launches Master of Science in Cybersecurity program

Computer keyboard, cybersecurity, stock photo, by Priscilla Grover

Boise State University is pleased to announce the newly created Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. This graduate degree program equips students with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to effectively protect the critical data and infrastructure of companies, communities and the nation.

“The United States Department of Labor projects Cyber Security/Information Security professionals to be one of the fastest growing careers in America between 2019-2029 with 31% growth and over 40,000 jobs with a median pay of $103,590,” said dean of the College of Business and Economics, Mark Bannister. “Similarly, Idaho projects 11% job growth.”

The program’s interdisciplinary curriculum and flexible program provides a foundational and integrated approach to cybersecurity education developed to deliver specific, relevant, in-demand knowledge and skill sets.

“Innumerable industries rely upon secure cyber systems, and a passionate and diverse workforce to ensure their continued longevity and success,” said Graduate College Dean Tammi Vacha-Haase. “With this program, Boise State graduate students will be prepared to lead Idaho and fill the state’s and the nation’s critical need for proficient cybersecurity problem-solvers.”

Brooke Sutton photo

The master’s degree program is housed within the Graduate College, and melds the interdisciplinary cybersecurity knowledge and faculty expertise of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and the College of Engineering.

“Boise State is providing an innovative and much-needed educational opportunity in Idaho and is offering students a crucial new advanced degree focusing on cybersecurity,” said College of Arts and Sciences dean Leslie Durham. “The deep interdisciplinary nature of the degree, and students’ ability to pursue an emphasis gives students the opportunity to develop their unique strengths while also meeting one of the most urgent workforce needs locally, regionally, and nationally.”

The program’s leadership team includes mathematics professor Liljana Babinkostova, information technology and supply chain management associate professor Doug Twitchell, and Associate Professor of Computer Science Jyh-haw Yeh. The program also works in collaboration with the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity at Boise State.

“Given the ubiquitous nature of computing in our jobs, cybersecurity education requires an interdisciplinary approach but with a common foundation of understanding,” said College of Engineering Dean JoAnn Lighty. “The new Masters of Science in Cybersecurity provides just that, affording the students broad, as well as in-depth, learning.”

The program has three areas of emphasis: computer science, cryptanalysis and signals analysis, and management.

  • Computer Science focuses on protection of computers, networks, programs, industrial control systems, and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change, or destruction.
  • Cryptanalysis and Signals Analysis focuses on modern and emerging cryptographic systems, weaknesses of the underlying mathematics of a cryptographic system, and weaknesses in implementation.
  • Management focuses on managing the many complex systems required to run a successful information security program. These systems include governance systems, change management systems, identity and access management systems, and managing the people running them.

“A great characteristic of these jobs is that many of them can be performed from anywhere,” said Bannister. “A person can enjoy living in Idaho, a state with great natural amenities and work remotely in this fascinating career protecting critical business, healthcare, transportation, utility, and governmental systems.”

Additionally, over the past five years, Boise State has added a total of 10 majors, minors and certificate programs to support everyone from undergraduate student learners to current cybersecurity professionals working to advance their skill set. Currently, Boise State offers more cybersecurity related courses and programs than any other higher education institution in Idaho. To learn more about these programs, visit: