The University of Scranton will offer a new master’s degree in cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity in a fully online format that will focus on the criminological aspects of the much-in-demand field.
In addition, the graduate degree program is aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, which consists of standards, guidelines and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk.
The program, which will be offered starting in the fall of 2022, will help prepare students for various professional certifications by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, such as certified ethical hacker and computer hacking forensic investigator.
“The field of cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity is growing rapidly as malicious attacks to information systems at the local, regional, national and international level become more frequent and detrimental to individuals and organizations who have become increasingly dependent upon the use of technology,” said Michael Jenkins, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology at The University of Scranton.
“Many new and existing higher education programs in this field focus heavily on the computer science discipline, however, to prevent cyber threats today, we also need professionals who fully understand cybercriminal’s motivations, goals, behaviors, methods of intrusions and manipulations.”
The University’s new 30-credit master’s degree in cybercrime investigation and cybersecurity program courses include cyber criminology and criminal justice, digital forensics iInvestigation, mobile forensics, cyber defense and cyber risk assessment and management, among others.
The program will leverage the University’s partnership with Jacobs, through which the international defense and security firm will advise Scranton on the fast-changing field to support and keep current the cyber-related undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
Jacobs will also be a source of job placement for university graduates.
Dr. Jenkins said graduates of the program can work for small or large businesses, as well as for government agencies or nonprofit organizations.
Positions in this field include cybercrime investigator, digital forensic examiner or cybersecurity specialist.
“Job reports continue to project a national and worldwide shortage of cyber-related workers. With the cyber-related global workforce expected to rise to 6 million professionals by 2030, a 1.5 million shortfall is predicted for this workforce,” said Jenkins.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics employment for cybersecurity analysts will increase by 28 percent between 2016 and 2026, and employment for digital forensic analysts is expected to increase by 32 percent between 2018 and 2028. Both rates are higher than the average growth rate for all other professionals.
According to PayScale.com, information security officers, a position for which master’s degrees are often preferred or required, earn an annual median salary of $92,000.
The new master’s degree program will be housed in the university’s Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology.
The University began offering a bachelor of science in cybercrime and homeland security in the fall of 2020. Both undergraduate and graduate students in these programs have access to hands-on programming and research opportunities offered through the University’s Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Crime.
For additional information, email Dr. Jenkins at Michael.email@example.com.