Cybersecurity threats are a serious issue, but the field is lacking experts who can prevent or handle such hacks. In the United States alone, there are 200,000 unfilled jobs that require cybersecurity-related skills.
One estimate predicts that the world will see a global shortage of 1.8 million cybersecurity experts by 2022.
To help fill this skills gap, New York University's Tandon School of Engineering has launched the New York Cyber Fellows, an online master’s program for cybersecurity education that costs $15,000 — the least, the school said, of any cybersecurity master’s program in New York City.
The program is a partnership between NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and New York City Cyber Command (NYC3), the agency that leads the city’s own cybersecurity efforts. Mayor Bill de Blasio launched NYC3 in July 2017 to protect the city from cyberthreats.
Through the master’s program, Cyber Fellows will have access to the NYC3 Cyber Range, which NYU described as “a virtual laboratory” for hands-on training and development.
“NYC3’s Cyber Range will expose students to simulation, testing and research into a wide range of security and technology concerns associated with securing one of the largest digital cities in the world,” said Geoff Brown, New York City Chief Information Security Officer and head of NYC3, in a statement.
“We’re proud to support a program that opens up a career in cyber defense to more students, allowing the next generation of cyber professionals to better resemble the diversity of the society they will be charged to protect,” he added.
The program is a direct answer to a call from de Blasio himself, NYU officials said, to add 30,000 tech jobs, like cybersecurity experts, to the workforce within a decade — a portion of his effort to create 100,000 good-paying jobs in the same time. The median starting salary of a network security administrator in New York City is $153,500, according to IT staffing company Robert Half.
The Cyber Fellows curriculum was created with recommendations from NYC3 and business partners like Goldman Sachs, IBM Security, Morgan Stanley and more.
Those who become a Cyber Fellow will also receive a free five-year subscription to audit the latest versions of online courses. This is important, the school noted, because cybersecurity courses update every semester as new threats are always surfacing.
“We want our Cyber Fellows to know we will be with them for the long term,” said Professor Nasir Memon, founder of NYU Tandon’s cybersecurity program, in a statement, “and I have no doubt that their experiences in the field will enrich future scholars.”