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The UA cyber ops program, which began with about two dozen students in January 2017, has grown at blinding speed. It has learners logging in from all over the world, ranging from traditional students to retired military personnel. (Composite image: Bob Demers/UANews)

Cybersecurity Means Job Security

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Cybersecurity Means Job Security

April 18, 2018
UA South's cyber operations program, based on the Sierra Vista campus but fully online, has grown quickly and provides students with extensive hands-on training for an array of career opportunities in the field.

According to the International Information Security Certification Consortium, a nonprofit organization that specializes in training and certifications for cybersecurity professionals, an additional 1.8 million cyber professionals will be needed in the U.S. by 2022. These are good jobs, too: The median salary in 2017 for information security analysts was more than $95,000.

The big difference from other cyber programs ... is the skills-heavy work done by UA students in CyberApolis, a malware "sandbox" and labs in forensics, honeynet and the "internet of things." CyberApolis may be only a virtual city, but the cyber program's lessons are real, with live online lectures and practical exercises modeled on actual data crises such as those experienced in recent years by retailers Home Depot and Target.

"It makes me want to take the classes just so I can play and learn from the tools ..." -- Sharon ONeal, former director of Raytheon's Software Engineering Center and an instructor in the UA College of Engineering.