Maryland universities see rapid growth in cybersecurity programs due to vibrant cyber job market

Bachelor’s and master’s programs in cybersecurity at Maryland colleges and universities are growing rapidly as more students become interested in careers in the industry. At UMBC, the number of graduate students studying cybersecurity has grown nearly five-fold over the past six years, explains Rick Forno, director of UMBC’s graduate cybersecurity program and assistant director for UMBC’s Center for Cybersecurity, in an article in The Daily Record.

UMBC’s proximity to government agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) and private security and tech firms, has contributed to the growth of the university’s cybersecurity programs. One draw, engaging both introductory students and more advanced experts in the field, is the Maryland Cyber Challenge, a statewide competition for high school and college students and cybersecurity professionals held during the CyberMaryland Conference, which Forno founded.

Forno says that there are between 12,000 and 13,000 job openings in the cybersecurity industry across the state, which is good news for graduates from UMBC’s programs.   

In a separate article in The Daily Record, Tim Finholm, cybersecurity instructor at UMBC Training Center, shares his perspective on risks that companies must identify and be alert for to protect private information. He explains that companies must fend off threats that employees may unknowingly click right intolinks that seem innocuous but are really traps left by hackers, designed to gather information or lead the user to a site where a server can take control of the computer, says Finholm.

Image: UMBC cybersecurity class in 2014. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.