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University of Southern California adds online master's degree in cyber security

This fall, the University of Southern California (USC) will begin offering a master's degree in cyber security through its Viterbi School of Engineering. The program will be available both on campus, and online via the Viterbi Distance Education Network, otherwise known as DEN@Viterbi. Online students will be subjected to the same academic requirements and course load as their on-campus peers, and graduate with the same diploma from USC. Lectures are to be transmitted live from the classroom and stored online for the entire semester, allowing remote students to access classes anywhere and at anytime.

According to Herb Schorr, Vice Dean for Engineering and Director Emeritus of USC Viterbi's Information Sciences Institute, "The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is in a strong position to offer this program, as USC is a National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Academic Excellence in Research. 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."

Cyber security involves protecting information systems against unwanted, unauthorized intrusions, such as worms or viruses. USC's online degree program will include courses on digital forensics, cryptography, network security, and key management. As mentioned in USC's press release announcing the new program, the National Institute of Standards and Technology estimates that about 700,000 jobs in cyber security will be created by 2015. Therefore, degree options like this may turn out to be very important in the near future.

"The launch of the Master of Cyber Security program is very timely, as there is a rapidly growing demand for professionals in this area," Schorr added. "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 located in the digital world."

DEN@Viterbi was ranked No. 1 in both online graduate engineering programs and online computer information technology programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. The distance learning network was created in 1962 to provide continuing education to Southern California's aerospace industry. Currently, Viterbi offers more than 40 engineering programs online, including master's degrees, graduate certificates and noncredit courses.

"Offering the Master in Cyber Security via DEN@Viterbi enables working professionals in all regions of the U.S. to take courses in the Cyber Security program," said Kelly Goulis, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs at USC Viterbi. "We are proud to provide this opportunity for the nation's future cyber security experts to advance their education in this much-needed field."


Sources:
"How DEN Works," gap.usc.edu
"USC Viterbi Offers New Master's Program in Cyber Security," sacbee.com, May 21, 2013
"USC Viterbi's Graduate Online Engineering Programs Ranked No. 1," viterbi.usc.edu, January 16, 2013, Robert Perkins