Cybersecurity Curriculum Development

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Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Cybersecurity Curriculum Development
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)North Dakota State University
Company size (employees)5,000 to 9,999
Headquarters RegionNorth America


During 2019, NDSU undertook numerous efforts related to curriculum development and redevelopment. We had a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity (which we revised / updated in 2019) and Cybersecurity options as part of our M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Computer Science and Software Engineering, which were created shortly before. During 2019, we developed the frameworks for a new B.S. in Cybersecurity and a combined M.S./Ph.D. in Cybersecurity. The B.S. is currently going through the university and university system’s multi-level approval process. The M.S./Ph.D. program hasn’t yet started this process.

For the B.S. degree, input from those working in public and private sector cybersecurity positions was integral. We wanted to make sure that the degree prepares its graduates, to the greatest extent possible, for the workforce. We also wanted to ensure that the program would prepare graduates for graduate study in cybersecurity, should they desire to pursue this route.

We developed a prototype for the B.S. degree, based upon the assessment of other respected national and regional cybersecurity programs. Our goal, in this regard, was to ensure that students would have at least the same coverage of core areas as graduates of these programs. We identified a number of electives, based on prior employer feedback and competitive program research and built several focus areas within the degree. We then went one step further and asked for feedback from individuals working in a number of cybersecurity positions. We balanced the feedback we received from these industry professionals, prior suggestions and peer program coverage and sent out two revisions for additional feedback. Through this process, we’ve developed a best-of-breed cybersecurity program.

We’ve also developed multiple courses that are required or serve as electives for it. They are available both online and offline.

Additional Information

* A well-research, practitioner-validated new B.S. program in Cybersecurity was developed (and is currently proceeding through the approval process), a combined M.S./Ph.D. was designed and a graduate certificate was revised / updated.
* Industry / practitioner input and feedback was solicited and used to design the B.S. program so that it would prepare graduates to be immediately successful in the workforce.
* Courses were developed for these new degree programs and designed to be available as hybrid online / on-campus courses to meet the needs of local students as well as students around the world.