A hospital’s operations come to a standstill when its computer system is held hostage by ransomware. Social security numbers, credit cards and other data are up for sale after a major retailer’s systems are breached. Critical infrastructure is threatened by cyberterrorists, ready to cause unspeakable damage to lives and property.

Sad to say, this is the world we live in today. In 2019, losses due to cybercrime will reach $2 trillion according to Forbes. And Cybersecurity Ventures expects cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, representing the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history. And it isn’t only major corporations and institutions at risk. More than half of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, and more and more school districts, towns and cities have become targets of digital blackmail.

To combat this surging threat, spending in cybersecurity — and the cybersecurity job market — is growing like wildfire. Global Market Insights anticipates the cybersecurity market will be a $300 billion industry by 2024. According to ZipRecruiter and other employment experts, salaries for cybersecurity experts are currently averaging $107,000, and can rise to $300,000 or more.

Hofstra University is acting aggressively to prepare highly-trained cybersecurity experts for this critical, rapidly-expanding field. In a joint effort, its Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in cybersecurity and computer science to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professional. Those degrees include:

  • BS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND CYBERSECURITY:  This program produces graduates who are fully qualified as computer software and hardware developers, while at the same time, able to serve as information security officers, penetration testers, and network administrators.
  • MS IN CYBERSECURITY: In preparation for technical and managerial careers in cybersecurity, graduate students choose a Technology or Management and Policy concentration. This intensive program delves deeper into such cybersecurity issues as data management, software, systems, organizational/societal security, and privacy.    
  • MBA IN CYBERSECURITY MANAGEMENT AND POLICY: For those looking to reach the ranks of leadership in the field, this program offers C-suite level insights and practical guidance in long-range policy and real-time decision-making.

The latest, and perhaps most exciting addition to the region’s anti-cybercrime arsenal is Hofstra’s new state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center. The center has been designed from the ground up to train students to detect and defend against cybercrime, creating partnerships between industry, government and education to analyze threats, strengthen network security and mitigate the economic impact of cybercrime. Using sophisticated technology and simulation software, the CIRC will allow students to experience hyper-realistic cyberattack scenarios, training them to react in real time to these fast-moving disasters.

Cybercrime isn’t going away, and there will always be demand for talented new cybersecurity experts throughout the public and private sectors.  Watch here for more information on the issues and people at the forefront of this dynamic, evolving industry.

And be careful out there!