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Fowler School of Engineering to Launch New Cybersecurity Minor Growing Need for Expertise Spurs Development

You’ve probably heard a lot of tech buzzwords in the last year. Quantum computing. Machine learning. Big data. Or at least saw something, somewhere about giant data breaches at Facebook and Marriott. If so, then you’ve also heard of cybersecurity.

Possibly as soon as the fall of 2020, the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering will offer a brand new minor in cybersecurity.

But cybersecurity is nothing new, and it existed way before data breaches ever got mainstream media attention, before even the giant Yahoo data breach that exposed the information of over two billion user accounts.

“Now that it’s getting a lot of the limelight in the media, people are more aware of it,” says instructor Rene German of the Fowler School of Engineering, who leads the effort to create the new minor. “Companies are saying, ‘We need people who are proficient in cybersecurity.’”

Before Chapman, German was a network security engineer in the cybersecurity industry.

“When I came to Chapman full time, I went to Dr. Erik Linstead and he agreed that we needed to offer classes in cybersecurity,” German says.

German and Linstead met with their industry advisory board comprised of CIOs and CTOs from companies in the Orange County area, asking the board which skills were most important to companies looking to hire new graduates.

The one topic that everyone had in common was the need for students proficient in cybersecurity, German says.

Starting with an intro course in cybersecurity last year, students have already shown interest in the field, some acquiring internships or full-time employment in the cybersecurity field.
An education in cybersecurity goes beyond buzzwords and trends in benefits to students, showcasing their adaptability.

“Someone who wants to be a cybersecurity analyst or expert really needs to be a jack of all trades,” says German. “You need to know how to sling some code. You need to have database experience. You need to know networking.”

As the distance in the world becomes smaller through connected technology, it’s no surprise that a need for cybersecurity experts will continue to grow.

Aaron Singh

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