Cybersecurity program feeds IT department needs

Cybersecurity is a subspecialty of computer science that focuses on the protection of data and information. This is one of Quincy University’s newest majors available, as well as one of the fastest growing programs in academics. Cybersecurity is a career focus in computer science. 

In the fall of 2018, QU received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education Title III-A Strengthening Institutions program. This gave QU the tools needed to build their very own cybersecurity lab. The lab is located on the 2nd floor of Francis Hall. 

It takes a lot of hard work and top notch preparation to succeed in the cybersecurity field. While receiving a cybersecurity degree from QU, you will take a wide variety of courses that cover concepts such as Codes and Ciphers, Cryptology, Intro to Databases, Applied Networks and Security, Fundamentals of Information Assurance, Network Interconnection Technologies, Introduction to Local Area Networks and Fundamentals of Network Security. The degree track includes 42 credit hours in cybersecurity coursework. Most of the courses strive to have an active learning experience as you spend the majority of your time in the cybersecurity lab. 

Ian Speth is a cybersecurity major at QU. He has interned with the university’s IT (Information Technology) department and plans to work for the IT department in the future. 

 “I truly enjoy cybersecurity because it is a subspecialty of computer science that offers a large variety of career opportunities. The addition of the cybersecurity department, along with the lacrosse program, has provided me with a profound sense of fulfillment that I have not experienced from school before. The opportunities that Quincy University provides are something that will help me gain an advantage when applying for opportunities after school and throughout my professional career,” Speth said.

As a student who studies within the fields of computer science, you have the opportunity to work with the university’s IT department. QU’s IT department operates like a well oiled machine. The IT department offers career advancement opportunities such as internships, volunteer work and work study programs for students. 

“I love working with the IT department because everyone is cool. I already know that this is the career path I am going to be happy with and QU’s IT department has helped me ensure I made the right decision and keep me excited for the future,” Speth said.

Across campus, Mike McCabe is known as the IT wizard and is the head of the IT department. QU is an old campus, with most of the buildings are brick or cinder block meaning QU is not the best space for wireless internet. But McCabe figured out his own complex and reliable system to ensure everyone is available to connect to Wi-Fi. 

“Computer Science and Cybersecurity are great places for me to get my student workers out of. They get to see a lot of what they have learned in action and we get people that already know what they are doing or have a better understanding of what they are doing. I think it is good for the students because this is real world IT here. They get to take the theoretical stuff they’ve learned and see how we apply it everyday,” McCabe said. 

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