Cybersecurity – it’s a growing field with plenty of room for graduates looking to begin their professional careers.
On Wednesday, September 6, Regent University hosted Ken Piper, a Combat System Readiness Division Head for the Naval Sea Systems Command, for an engineering and science forum focused on opportunities in cybersecurity, particularly educational opportunities with naval defense systems.
Various positions available for students, graduate students and recent graduates range from 10-week summer internships to training opportunities that require a two to three year commitment.
Students who enroll in the program learn about everything software – known as the “brains on board” – that control a ship, weapons development, sonar and radar technology. Opportunities may also be available to help with hardware instillations on vessels stationed around the world.
Piper says students who work hard and show their skill are likely to do well after finishing their studies.
“You go to school to get a good job when you graduate,” he said. “This is an opportunity to get a job in your field as a student and when you graduate, you can just roll right in.”
Participants may be able to travel domestically and internationally to locations such as Germany, Spain and Hawaii. Even more attractive, most of the programs offer a competitive stipend, tuition assistance and scholarships.
Piper’s visit is timely. In July, Regent announced the development of a cyber range training facility as part of its Institute for Cybersecurity, a center dedicated to preparing students for careers in the industry, as well as continuing education for cybersecurity professionals in government, military and the private sector.
The cyber range will open later this fall and will provide a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory where students can learn how to deal with the challenges they will face during real-world attacks and threats. And, Regent is among the first Christian higher education institutions to build a cyber range training center.
“A severe skill shortage exists in the workforce, while at the same time the threats to our country’s security grow ever more sophisticated,” said Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent’s Founder, Chancellor and CEO. “Regent’s new training center will address the nation’s need for thousands of additional cybersecurity experts to defend government and commercial networks from cyber attacks.”
“They [Regent] are ramping it [cybersecurity studies] up so fast… and I definitely feel like I’m being taken care of and that I can get an internship and a job pretty easily in this place,” said Nathan Hunter ’20 (College of Arts & Sciences).
Experts project 6 million cybersecurity jobs globally in 2019. Median pay for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $88,890, and those in the 10th percentile of the industry will be making upwards of $140,000 a year.
Regent currently offers degrees in Cyber & Digital Forensics, Cybersecurity, Information Systems Technology, and Computer Science.
Complementing its robust academic programs in liberal arts, this expansion into science and technology opens more doors into other industries for Christian leaders to flourish.