UNT answering industry's growing cybersecurity, engineering management, geospatial data demands

Heather Noel

An estimated 500,000 cybersecurity jobs go unfilled in our country and demand continues to rise as new technologies further ingrain in daily life. UNT will help ease industry needs with new degrees in cybersecurity and engineering management this fall as well as geographic information systems + computer science in Fall 2021.

B.S. & M.S. in Cybersecurity

Starting in August, students can choose to earn either their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in cybersecurity from UNT’s College of Engineering. Both programs will emphasize skills such as critical thinking, creativity and problem solving in an active learning environment. UNT’s goal is to produce professionals who are highly skilled, are technically savvy and will think critically about cybersecurity challenges.

For the bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity, students will learn about all aspects of defensive and offensive cybersecurity beginning with the initial design and development of the system to be protected. Students transferring to UNT with an associate’s degree in computer science can complete their B.S. in two years. 

The master of science program delves deeper, giving students a complementary competency skillset that includes artificial intelligence-based security analysis, machine learning, data security, vulnerability analysis and activities in evaluating the trustworthiness of systems. 

Graduates will be prepared for jobs in secure software development, system test/evaluation, data security analysis, IT security project management, cyber defense analysis, vulnerability assessment, system security engineering, security architecture and enterprise architecture.

The UNT Center for Information and Cyber Security is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. As a center for excellence, students learn from experts in the field and gain knowledge and skills that have practical applications in industry post-graduation. 

Through the College of Engineering’s Grad Track program, students can save time and money in furthering their education, earning their bachelor’s degree and either a master’s degree or doctorate in engineering disciplines of their choice in as few as five years. 

“We want to equip our students to become leaders in the rapidly changing and often unchartered environment that cybersecurity operates in. That means not only giving them the knowledge they need to thrive today, but also instilling a valuable skillset that encourages innovative thinking for solving the needs of tomorrow,” UNT Provost Jennifer Cowley said.

M.S. in Engineering Management

Another new offering from the College of Engineering will give students the knowledge and skills needed to advance their career and become pioneering leaders in the engineering field. UNT already has a graduate concentration in engineering management, but starting in August will offer a master of science degree in the field. 

This newly elevated program will focus on teaching students how to strategically manage people, projects, organizations and processes. Students also will be able to choose a concentration in either construction management or energy management that expands their knowledge in a field they enjoy or use this degree as an opportunity to move their career in a new direction. Upon completion, graduates will be able to manage the development of engineering projects and their human and societal impacts, develop the design of experiment for six sigma and associated cost and quality of a product, as well as engage in strategic and entrepreneurship activities.

B.S. in Geographic Information Systems + Computer Science 

A new bachelor of science in geographic information systems + computer science debuting in Fall 2021 also will respond to a growing industry need and be a good fit for students looking to meld their interests in geography and computer science.

Cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things has dramatically impacted how organizations view and use geospatial data to develop analytics and gain insights into their business processes. Increasingly, businesses are looking for professionals who understand the complexities of geospatial data and are able to leverage modern computing techniques to convert such data into meaningful information.

UNT’s new program, which will be housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Department of Geography and the Environment, will teach students how to apply geographical perspectives to complex data-related geospatial processes, understand computing principles, program using various languages including C++ and Python and use complex databases effectively. Additionally, specializations such as remote sensing, enterprise geographic information systems, computer networks, security, data mining, graphics and artificial intelligence will be available.

Graduates of the degree could be looking at future careers as a GIS engineer, GIS systems analyst, GIS solutions engineer or GIS application programmer in a variety of fields including, local, state and federal governments, real estate, logistics, defense and energy.

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