Grambling State University has been approved to develop an undergraduate cybersecurity degree program, a field that university officials say will position the university to receive funding and enrollment opportunities through one of the nation’s emerging fields of industry.
The University of Louisiana Board of Regents unanimously approved the school’s letter of intent to create the program, which clears the university to create curriculum and to secure funding for the new program.
(Grambling State President Rick) Gallot said cybersecurity is an important part of the university’s effort to strengthen its academic offerings and provide cutting-edge, relevant professional opportunities for students. An estimated 2 million cybersecurity workers will be needed by 2019, and there’s been a 3500 percent growth in cybersecurity spending since 2004, he said. Grambling is well positioned with its current computer and information sciences degrees to add this new degree.
“We have everything we need to launch this as a full degree program, including significant student interest, four tenure track professors already teaching computer science, nine related courses already a part of the curriculum and 12 courses moving through our university academics committee process,” said Gallot. “Two more faculty members are scheduled to be hired.”
The announcement comes just one week after Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced a statewide commission dedicated to growing cybersecurity industry within state borders. When established, Grambling’s program would be the first in the state for cybersecurity, but the second within a five-mile radius with teaching and training for network safekeeping or design.
Since its launch in 2014, Louisiana Tech University’s cyber engineering degree program has built campus-based research centers and cultivated partnerships with governmental agencies and private corporations to pioneer Louisiana’s cyber job market.