A while ago, we talked about the new 22 NSA Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) schools with programs in Information Assurance Education (IAE) and Research (R). Just recently it looks like the NSA has created a third one to fill the cyber operations gap. Among the 20 schools that applied to this Cyber Operations program, the NSA only selected four schools. These institutions included Dakota State University in SD, Northeastern University in MA, the University of Tulsa in OK, and the Naval Postgraduate School in CA. Students accepted into these programs must meet a number of stringent criteria such as “security clearance, work ethics, technical skills, creativity and desire to serve the country.”
The goal of the new Cyber Operations program is to train students in the techniques for operating and protecting networks against emerging dynamic cyber threats. Unlike the traditional CAE programs, which focused on information assurance and research, the Cyber Operations program stresses cyber defense as well as offensive strategies. In addition, this program is aimed to address gaps in traditional CAE programs. According to the NSA technical leader for the CAE program, Steven LaFountain, the two gaps include lack of technical expertise and lack of cyber operation strategies.
This new Cyber Operations program seems to be a great opportunity for those interested in the challenging defensive and offensive operations environment. And better yet there is no better way to advance your professional career and educational depth than to possibly attain free education and employment after graduation. As usual there is a catch with the “free” part. If you’re one of the lucky ones to receive a scholarship, you’ll have to work with one of the associated U.S. government agencies for a period of time. Wanna move on to a higher paying contractor job? Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay back the scholarship amount. I guess you can always negotiate with that prospective employer to reimburse the NSA.
The U.S. National Security Agency has launched a new Cyber Operations Program at four select universities to fill gaps in existing cybersecurity curriculum and technical training.
The primary goal of the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations is to produce a larger pool of professionals with deeper technical expertise in inter-disciplinary areas of computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering.
The Cyber Operations program will specifically train students for intelligence, military and law enforcement jobs, which require extra education in operating and protecting networks against enemy attacks. For example, students will learn to defend against the new generation of Stuxnet.
Any thought’s on this new program? Let us know in the comments. Today’s post image is from GovInfoSecurity.com.