Thursday, November 30, 2023

UTSA launches innovative degree in applied cyber analytics

UTSA launches innovative degree in applied cyber analytics

NOVEMBER 9, 2021 — Continuing to excel in all things cyber, the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business will offer a new B.S. in applied cyber analytics in fall 2022.

One of only a few cyber analytics degrees in the nation and the only program of its kind in Texas, this innovative bachelor’s degree will allow students to receive training in both data analytics and cyber security and gain an understanding of the cyber domain and its unique business intelligence needs.

“Cyber is humans interacting with data—a lot of data—and if you want to secure that data and analyze who is trying to penetrate your networks, you have to know how to analyze the data,” said Nicole Beebe, chair of the college’s Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security.

“Our graduates will be qualified to pursue jobs in cyber security, data analytics and cyber analytics.”

Applied cyber analytics students will work smarter, not harder, utilizing tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to see patterns in cyber detection. With billions of attempted intrusions worldwide and millions of system and network events logged daily in the average organization, students will learn how to interpret this data to properly defend, respond and investigate these threats.

“Not enough people in the cyber field possess critical data analytics skill. This is a big problem and a missed opportunity,” Beebe said. “Cyber security professionals who receive data analytics training are capable of doing their job more effectively and more efficiently. This degree program is more data-focused and detection-focused than our B.B.A. in cyber security.”

Students will obtain a foundational understanding of cyber security concepts, threats, risks and operations. The degree will also provide students with a conceptual framework, analytical tools and business intelligence skills needed to aggregate, organize, model, interpret, apply and visualize data in cyber security decision making.

Focusing on the applied aspects of analytics, students will understand when to use certain algorithms as well as why they are appropriate. They will take the same required courses as the current B.B.A. in cyber security, along with additional cyber security and data analytics courses. Supporting coursework includes the fields of mathematics, statistics, business analytics, information systems, data mining, machine learning, policy, law and ethics.

“Students will obtain knowledge and skill in three of the four fastest-growing areas of cyber security: cloud security, risk management and threat intelligence,” Beebe said. “Our graduates will be qualified to pursue jobs in cyber security, data analytics and cyber analytics.”

There will be a 31% increase in demand for workers trained in cyber security in the next decade in addition to the current 3.5 million cyber security job shortage, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

“This is what we should be doing in academia—identifying trends in the workplace, forecasting future careers and configuring programming to meet employers’ needs,” Beebe said. “By the time employers realize the value of this skillset, we’ll already have people entering the workforce. I believe this will be one of UTSA’s most marketable degrees to date.”

UTSA is the No. 1 cyber security program in the nation according to the Ponemon Institute. Named a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education, Cyber Operations and Information Assurance Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, UTSA excels in both cyber academic programming and research. The Alvarez College of Business offers a B.B.A. in cyber security both online and in person as well as a M.S. degree in information technology with a concentration in cyber security and a Ph.D. in information technology with a concentration in cyber security.

Wendy Frost

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