Cyber security gets recognized

RayLynn Chraston, Staff writer, a free and privately-supported website which brings forth unbiased, accurate and fact-based information on a wide range of issues for its viewers has named Mercyhurst as having one of the best cyber security programs in the nation. The 2021 rankings on Best Master’s in Internet Security analyzed 160 schools with only 50 making the final list, including Mercyhurst University.

This program has been growing in recent years, launching an undergrad program in 2019 that has grown from 63 to 138 students since its beginning. The Cyber Security master’s program here at Mercyhurst is seen as one of the best in the nation due to the way that the classes are formatted.

“This is a one-of-a-kind program where students coming in are not expected to have an extensive background in Computer Science and can learn all the concepts from introductory ones to advanced ones within two years,” said professor and co-developer of the Master’s program, Christopher Mansour, Ph.D. “It is special because the faculty in this program also dedicate a lot of attention to student learning and experience.”

The fact that the professors who are involved with this program devote much of their time to their students is very important. They want to see them succeed and that should say something about Mercyhurst and the program itself.

For graduate students currently enrolled, this program is opening up many opportunities for them. For instance, this degree allows the possibility of being promoted in a job or ability to switch their career if they see fit.

The Cyber Security program also may help a student pair their current line of study with the cyber security field.

“Cyber security is needed and applicable in a lot of industries,” said Mansour. “Mercyhurst is seeing record enrollments in the major.” Additionally, this program here at Mercyhurst allows students to become part of one of the fastest growing employment sectors. “The unemployment rate in the field of cyber security is zero percent and there is a huge demand for people in this field. Jobs pay really well, sometimes starting with six figures,” Mansour said.

This actively demonstrates the importance of the field and the opportunities provided for students currently in the program. Having a zero percent unemployment rate in the field guarantees the graduate students a job after graduation.

According to Mansour, the cyber security program is one of the greatest programs that Mercyhurst currently offers.

“[The program] follow[s] the mission of the Sisters in preparing students to be well-knowledgeable and equipped with the necessary skill set needed to protect the personal information of people in our society, companies in our society and our nation from bad actors,” said Mansour.

The nation’s future prosperity depends on a workforce trained in the latest tools and skills in cybersecurity. More information can be found on the department’s web page on the Mercyhurst site.