UVA CS Department Cybersecurity Focal Path: A Different Approach

Imam, Yazmeen, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Neeley, Kathryn, Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

The University of Virginia (UVA) Computer Science (CS) Department has one focal path CS students can take: the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-CD) Cybersecurity Focal Path at UVA. Cybersecurity is a great and important field and the students learning it need to feel prepared for their future work to protect everyone’s data and privacy. The Cybersecurity Focal Path at UVA feels underdeveloped and insufficient. I have explored gaps within the existing Cybersecurity Focal Path that inadequately prepares students for the workforce after graduation and for the emerging threats in the cybersecurity field. After completing the Focal Path myself, I propose a solution that includes the integration of advanced courses on cybersecurity trends, hands-on labs with real-world simulations, and collaborations with industry companies to ensure the curriculum's relevance and comprehensiveness. The method includes a comprehensive curriculum review compared to other universities’ curriculum, a review of the CS department’s lack of concentrations as a whole, and the addition of feedback mechanisms from alumni to address any emerging gaps. Anticipated outcomes include a marked improvement in student preparedness for cybersecurity roles, a higher rate of post-graduation employment in the field, and a review feedback loop for ongoing curriculum improvement. Future work will concentrate on reviewing the impact of these changes, identifying areas for further improvement, and exploring opportunities for expanding the concentration to meet emerging cybersecurity needs.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Focal Path, Quantum Computing
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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