Columbus State Launches New Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree

COLUMBUS --- The University System of Georgia Board of Regents Thursday approved Columbus State University’s request to establish a Master of Science with a major in Cybersecurity Management.

This new online degree will be available for students to begin during the summer 2018 semester. The 30 semester-hour program will be housed in the D. Abbott Turner College of Business’ TSYS School of Computer Science.

“This new degree is designed to appeal to working professionals, and is the next step in the development of our new TSYS Center for Cybersecurity,” said Chris Markwood, president of Columbus State University. “The demand for this program is very clear.”

The Cybersecurity Supply/Demand Heat Map developed for the Department of Homeland Security says the total cybersecurity job openings at the national level are 348,975, with approximately 12,783 positions in Georgia, and with 597 employment vacancies in Columbus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings have increased by 74 percent over the past five years.”

“This new program in response to the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals across multiple industries to manage and protect infrastructure and informational systems,” said Linda Hadley, dean of the Turner College of Business.  “Columbus is home to several multinational corporations and financial service companies that have a fundamental need for secure technology systems.”

The initial establishment costs for this new program and enhancements are funded from the National Security Agency (NSA) and through an endowment from TSYS. The gift from TSYS also helped CSU purchase current software and hardware to support program content and created the new cybersecurity center on the first floor of the Center for Commerce and Technology, said Wayne Summers, director of the TSYS School of Computer Science.

The school recently hired Michael Barker, a former Atlanta technology expert and state-licensed private detective specializing in digital forensics as the director of the new TSYS Center for Cybersecurity. Barker is a recognized industry leader in cyber security, information security and digital forensics.