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Barton launches Cyber Security program

With technology controlling almost every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that the field of cyber security is growing quickly and Barton has responded to this trend by introducing its Cyber Security Program, which has started enrolling students for the fall 2022 semester and is available fully online. In addition to this exciting development, the Computer Science Program is now also available fully online. 

Executive Director of Workforce Training and Economic Development Mary Foley said the job outlook and the demand for workers in Cyber Security made developing a program attractive for the college and its students. 

“According to the Kansas Occupational Outlook Report, the projected outlook for employment in the Information Security field is trending up and is expected to grow by 15.6% by 2026 or approximately 1.5% annually,” she said. “The projected median salary is $66,880.”

Cyber Security Instructor Dr. Robert Davis has had a long career in multiple fields including military security, finance, and computer science as well as education in these fields. He said he is excited to give students the tools they need to keep information safe for everyone. 

“It is imperative that students are provided with a toolbox of methods to reduce and eliminate the risk of cyber-attacks and prepare them for jobs in cyber security,” he said. “This program will provide the student with information on how to achieve basic security objectives such as authentication, authorization, access control, confidentiality, data integrity and non-repudiation by using secure systems and design principles. Students will learn about major security breaches that have occurred over the years such as ones that compromise data for large companies including Target, JPMorgan Chase, Yahoo, and Equifax and how to build countermeasures to defend against such attacks.”

Davis said it’s important to realize that breaches are not just computer and finance related. Utilities, energy, and computer systems controlling literally anything can be vulnerable and cause major problems. 

“The Target major data security breach happened after network login credentials were stolen from Target’s third-party heating and air conditioning vendor. The breach that exposed customers financial data occurred because hackers were able to gain entry through Target’s HVAC system. So, if you have your home settings tied to your phone or another device and can control your heat and air settings, turn lights on or off, or unlock your door you must be concerned about security.”

In addition to the attractive salary, Davis said job security is another benefit of a career in this field. 

“According to an article in Cybercrime Magazine, by Steve Morgan in 2021, ‘There is a huge need for cyber security workers over the next decade. There were 3.5 million open cyber security positions in 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects information security analyst will be the tenth-fastest growing occupation over the next decade, with an employment growth rate of 31 percent compared to the four percent average growth rate for all occupations.’”

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