A student stands at a podium in front of a white video screen with a wood conference table of five people in professional attire
A student of the Cybersecurity and Cyber Intelligence Training Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville presents what he learned to a panel of officials from program-supporting institutions. (Courtesy photo, Texas A&M-Kingsville)

A program to meet growing demands for cybersecurity professionals has received new resources for stimulating additional interest and opportunities for domestic undergraduate students in the field.

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Texas A&M University-Kingsville houses the Cybersecurity and Cyber Intelligence Training Program. It is now supported by an additional $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS, Center of Excellence for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense, CBTS, led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

The infusion of funds aims to open scholarship opportunities to help undergraduate program participants transition into graduate studies focusing on cybersecurity and cyber intelligence.

Strengthening cyber security  

“The program is a response to increasing awareness of cyber-crimes and attempts to breach government and industry information systems,” said Katlin Shoemaker, CBTS director of education, Bryan-College Station. “Our goal is to encourage Texas undergrads with financial support for graduate education in these high-tech security sectors.”

This effort is also designed to provide faculty and students with new opportunities to interact with government and industry cyber security professionals. The goal is to build a community of interest and provide students with experiential learning and internship opportunities that improve workforce readiness.

The cybersecurity team at Texas A&M-Kingsville will continue to recruit highly qualified students interested in pursuing graduate studies and research opportunities. The program aims to strengthen continuing efforts toward increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates of domestic graduate students of computer science at the university.

“Cyber security directly impacts the lives of people, federal organizations and corporate entities world-wide,” Shoemaker said. “In recent years, increased connectivity of devices to the internet has resulted in tremendous growth in cyber threats. Detering and countering these requires a well-trained cyber workforce.

“The program will enhance the ability of TAMUK, a minority serving institution, to expand the cyber intelligence workforce by providing pathways for students to pursue graduate studies with a focus on cyber intelligence and security. It will complement recently developed minor and certificate programs created through the support of the DHS.”

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