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Embry-Riddle now offers master’s in cyber intelligence and security

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PHOENIX — In an effort to meet the increasing demand for cyber-security professionals, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott has now began offering master’s degrees in cyber intelligence and security.

Cyber security has become a problem for companies since data breach hacks have hit the likes of Target, Yahoo, Equifax, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and E-Bay — all in the last five years.

Locally, the state of Arizona has been ranked the seventh-worst state in the nation when it comes to cyber crime.

“The number of cyber professionals needed in Arizona alone is 6,875,” Dr. Jon C. Haass, Embry-Riddle’s cyber intelligence and security department chair said in a release.

Many of these positions require master’s level education but not many schools have developed master’s programs specifically designed for the field of cyber safety.

Cyber security has even become an issue internationally. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mentioned his concern with the issue on “Face the Nation” in regards to Russian cyber meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Embry-Riddle website, the program is the first of its kind in the nation.

The importance of the growing demand in the field was also reciprocated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that properly-credentialed professionals in the field could receive a 40 percent salary increase compared to those without a master’s in the field.

“Our program is perfect for people who might want to return to college to further their education after spending few years on the job and now want to advance into more of a leadership role,” said Haass.

Embry-Riddle’s program will consist of three courses per semester for three semesters, including involvement in one of the many university research projects.

The focus of the degree will be based on faculty expertise in knowledge ranging from medical devices, IP based cameras, 5G mobile devices and transportation systems. Study of cryptography, block chain networks and other large coding networks may be included in the curriculum as well.

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott was founded in 1978 and currently enrolls 2,377 undergrads and only 57 graduate students.


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