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USC Viterbi sets its sights on cybersecurity

The cybersecurity degree will focus on the fundamentals of developing, engineering and operating secure information systems. (Photo/Jemy Scotlander)

Beginning this fall, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering will offer a master’s program in cybersecurity committed to leveraging advanced technology and educational methods to tackle the most pressing challenges in the digital domain. The program will also be available via DEN@Viterbi, the school’s online delivery method.

“This is an important new program to prepare students to address one of the grand engineering challenges of the coming decades,” said John O’Brien, executive vice dean for engineering at USC Viterbi.

The cybersecurity degree will focus on the fundamentals of developing, engineering and operating secure information systems. The aim of the program is to provide students the necessary tools to administer environments that require high levels of information security. Students will take courses in secure operating systems and applications, secure networking, digital forensics, cryptography and key management. In addition, the curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of the security policy development.

“The launch of the Master of Cybersecurity program is very timely, as there is a rapidly growing demand for professionals in this area,” said Herb Schorr, vice dean for engineering and director emeritus of USC Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute. “Graduates of this program will have the ability to apply their knowledge in a variety of industry sectors, including defense, finance, oil and gas, entertainment, medicine and any other business which has information they value in the digital world.”

According to a recent report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it is projected that by 2015, the United States will need 700,000 new cybersecurity professionals. In addition, the publication Network World called cybersecurity the hottest job in information technology.

“The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is in a strong position to offer this program, as USC is a National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence in Research,” Schorr said. “Through interaction with public and private stakeholders, we believe we have developed a curriculum that will prepare students to compete for high-paying jobs with anyone in the nation and to contribute to the field immediately after graduation.”

Students who do not live in the Los Angeles area will have the opportunity to take the same courses in cybersecurity online. DEN@Viterbi, ranked as the top online engineering delivery program by U.S. News & World Report, delivers campus courses via webcast, using the latest technology to provide students a seamless experience.

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