Grambling State president says cybersecurity presents great opportunity for students, fulfills future employment needs

By GSU Media Bureau

The Louisiana Board of Regents on Monday gave Grambling State University the green light to proceed with plans to establish the first undergraduate cybersecurity degree program in the state.  GSUcybersecurityGallotTalksHenderson_1171

The Regents unanimously approved GSU’s Letter of Intent to develop the new academic program.

“Now we have to develop curriculum and the program in concert with faculty, corporate partners and industry leaders in cybersecurity,” GSU President Rick Gallot said.

Once those components are in place, the university will return to the Regents for final approval of the new degree program.

The Regents’ approval of GSU’s Letter of Intent follows that of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System in August. The approved letter of intent touted the unique program and outlines the diverse 120-credit curriculum designed to prepare students for the rapidly evolving 21st Century economy.

Gallot said cybersecurity is an important part of the university’s effort to strengthen its academic offerings and provide cutting-edge, relevant professional opportunities for students. An estimated 2 million cybersecurity workers will be needed by 2019, and there’s been a 3500 percent growth in cybersecurity spending since 2004, he said. Grambling is well positioned with its current computer and information sciences degrees to add this new degree.GSUcybersecurityGallotHendersonLookingOn_1170

“We have everything we need to launch this as a full degree program, including significant student interest, four tenure track professors already teaching computer science, nine related courses already a part of the curriculum and 12 courses moving through our university academics committee process,” said Gallot. “Two more faculty members are scheduled to be hired.”

During a presentation before the Regents, Gallot quoted Gov. John Bel Edwards when the governor commented about his executive order establishing a cybersecurity commission on Dec. 7. “’We must continue our commitment to establishing cybersecurity capabilities and resources…,’” the GSU president quoted Edwards as saying.

“Grambling’s bachelor degree program in Cybersecurity will be a major contributor to the burgeoning I-20 Technology Corridor,” UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson said. “With rapidly advancing technology, the global job market is ripe for an army to combat cyber crimes.”