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Washington State University to Offer Cybersecurity Degree

The new degree program will start in fall 2023 to meet growing demand for computer science professionals. The number of jobs in the cybersecurity industry is expected to grow by more than 30 percent in the next decade.

(TNS) — Undergraduate students at Washington State University will soon be able to major in cybersecurity.

The university announced the new degree option Tuesday on WSU Insider. The program, made possible with $2 million in state funding, will be available to students on the university's Pullman, Tri-Cities and Everett campuses beginning in fall 2023.

WSU aims to meet a rapid growth in demand for computer science professionals with the skills to detect, respond to and prevent cyber attacks.

"We look forward to training our students in this important field and to meeting the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals in our state," said Partha Pande, director of WSU's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The number of jobs in the cybersecurity industry is expected to increase by more than 30 percent in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with more than 16,000 openings for information security analysts projected each year.

Median pay for the positions reached $102,600 annually, or $49.33 per hour, in May 2021.

"Many businesses and communities are concerned with a myriad of computer security threats, ranging from personal digital banking information or company data breaches to security of the electric power grid," Pande said.

According to WSU Insider, students who participate in the new degree program will take traditional computer science courses and learn skills including privacy principles in modern communications, security protection mechanisms, secure communication protocols, and security in virtual and cloud environments.

As interest in the offering grows, the university's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science plans to hire several new faculty members.

©2022 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.