UTSA's cybersecurity program ranked best in nation

Program helps students, professionals combat hacks, cyberthefts, security breaches

SAN ANTONIO – Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing careers and industries, with computer hacks, cyberthefts, and security breaches becoming an almost daily occurrence.

To handle the need for more cybersecurity professionals, the University of Texas at San Antonio founded its Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security in 2001. The university's cyber security education programs is now the best in the country.

"All we need to do is listen to the news, pick up the paper, and you're going to hear about a cybersecurity breach of some sort," said Dr. Gregory White, computer science professor and director of the school's Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security. "It seems like at least every week we're reading about a new one somewhere. It's happening everywhere."

Due to the high demand for these types of professionals, White said, many students have a wide array of job opportunities awaiting them upon graduation.

"There is no problem getting those people hired into cybersecurity jobs, simply because there's such a need for folks in the industry,"  White said.

One of those students, Joseph Cavazos, a senior majoring in Computer Science, said he hopes to go on to earn a doctorate degree, and continue in the field of cybersecurity.

"It's obvious, the level of talent that's here, and the stuff that we're learning is far beyond anywhere else I could think to go," Cavazos said.  "Especially just because of this program, I'm definitely interested in probably pursing a cybersecurity career."

Part of what makes the program unique is that in addition to students, UTSA also trains professionals, such as those already working in IT or cybersecurity.

"The education, the research, and the outreach really makes the UTSA program special and unique," said Ray Sims, CIAS Assistant Director.  "Because cybersecurity is a complex field, that runs the gamut from people, processes, and technology, it takes a long time to learn and be good at cybersecurity."