A 2019 study revealed a global shortage of about 3 million cybersecurity professionals.
“And that’s on the increase,” said Dr. Chang Phuong, a lecturer in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Addressing that need is one of the cornerstones of the just-launched Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology in Cybersecurity degree program at UTC. Phuong is one of the instructors.
The program’s first class met Monday, Jan. 9, with five students. Degrees are to be awarded in December.
Each semester—spring and fall 2023—has two seven-week terms in which students take at least three courses and participate in an internship with a local company such as EPB or Miller Industries.
Of the reported talent shortage, Tennessee and the Chattanooga area are not immune. Approximately 6,700 cybersecurity jobs are open in Tennessee with more than 300 in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Demand in Chattanooga is expected to grow 22-24% in the next five years.
Mischka Scott, one of the students in the BAS-IT CyS program, has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Southern Adventist University and wants to apply the skills she learns in the UTC program to various areas of social work.
“When I finish this course, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have the knowledge to help a lot of social work companies and programs be able to better protect information that they have,” she said.
Cybersecurity is not just the study of computer science, Phuong said.
“We have involvements with psychology, business, logistics, finance and economics. The mindset of a cybercriminal is profit, so we try to understand that mindset, to figure out where the gaps are, and to be able to close those gaps.”