Rider University to offer cybersecurity bachelor's program

Employment in this field is predicted to grow by 28% through 2026

Rider University will launch a bachelor's program in cybersecurity beginning in fall 2020. The 54-credit major will prepare graduates to design, implement and assess security measures to protect computer networks from cyberattacks, a growing threat to many individuals and organizations.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to start their careers in a rapidly growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 28% through 2026 — much faster than the average across all occupations. As future cybersecurity analysts, forensics computer investigators or information security analysts, graduates can expect salaries to match their in-demand skill sets. Average salaries in the field in 2018 were more than $98,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"There are just not enough people trained in this field and the issues keep growing; we've seen that with the massive data breaches that have happened in the past few years," says Dr. John Bochanski, chair of Rider's Department of Computer Science and Physics. "Our students will be able to confidently begin a career after graduation because they're going to walk away with a strong mix of technical skills, problem-solving skills, leadership skills and real-world experience."

Students can specialize in one of two tracks based upon their interests. The technical track is designed for those passionate about problem-solving and creating large-scale strategies, while the policy track is oriented toward those who are interested in risk management and the laws that surround the protection of an organization's information, networks and systems. In addition to the new program, Rider students can also minor in cybersecurity through the College of Business Administration.

In line with Rider's Engaged Learning Program — which requires students to complete at least two high-impact experiences such as internships — cybersecurity majors won't have to wait to get real-world experience.

"Students will have the ability to build and test network security measures on an isolated server by attempting to hack into them," Bochanski says. "We want them to collaborate and test out each others' security measures so they can see if there are vulnerabilities in their creations. We will also prepare them for nationally recognized certifications and encourage them to pursue internships in order to showcase their extensive preparation for the workforce."

To learn more about the cybersecurity program, contact Dr. John Bochanski, chair of Rider's Department of Computer Science and Physics, at [email protected]