Page 34 - BusinessWest October 13, 2021
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 That high-impact work is appealing to many who enter this profession, but one of the most obvious draws is the career opportunity. Matt Smith, director of Cybersecurity programs at Bay Path University, noted that a half-million jobs in cybersecurity are open across the U.S. — more than 20,000 of them in New England, and roughly two-thirds of those (13,389, according to the national CyberSeek research project) in Massa- chusetts — the 12th-highest total among all U.S. states.
“The industry is changing so rapidly,” Smith
“The industry is changing so rapidly.Turn on the news —
one day they’re talking about ransomware, another day it’s the Colonial Pipeline attack ... it’s all about security. So, workforce in this industry is in demand.”
said. “Turn on the news — one day they’re talking about ransomware, another day it’s the Colonial Pipeline attack ... it’s all about security. So, work- force in this industry is in demand.”
That’s the other side of the ‘bad news’ coin — at least for people who want to make a career of defending against threats that will only continue. “It’s real job security, with high starting salaries. You’re going to retain employment and have
opportunities to upscale.” Reflecting the many differ-
ent niches in cybersecurity, Bay Path offers three undergradu- ate degrees in the field — digital forensics and incident response, information assurance, and risk management — as well as a master’s degree in cybersecurity management.
“We renew the courses every time we go live, sometimes two times a year,” Smith said. “Every time it’s being presented to anoth- er cohort, we look at the informa- tion being presented and decide
if it’s still applicable, or how it can be improved upon.”
For example, “the Colonial
Pipeline incident hadn’t happened
two years ago — so, let’s talk about
that this year and remove some-
thing else from the course. We’re
always going through the courses,
tweaking them, fine-tuning them,
and I think that sets us apart from
other universities. We handpick
the material we incorporate, and we update it, and we use the best forensic software we can.”
And that’s a challenge, said Beverly Benson, Cybersecurity program director for the Ameri- can Women’s College, Bay Path’s all-online arm, which offers intensive, accelerated versions of the undergraduate cybersecurity programs taught at the main campus.
“I am constantly doing research on threats, making sure my curriculum and content is fresh,
Matt Smith says the constantly evolving nature of threats means job security and advancement opportunities for today’s cybersecurity professionals.
       because the reality is, those individuals who are trying to attack systems, they don’t take vaca- tions,” she told BusinessWest. “We need to stay abreast of everything to make sure students are getting as up-to-date a curriculum as possible.”
The industry’s constantly evolving nature makes it attractive to many career seekers, she added.
Continued on page 36
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