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Grambling State University Gets Final Approval to Offer First Bachelor Degree in Cybersecurity

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Today, Grambling State University, Louisiana’s top producer of African-American Computer Science graduates, received final approval to offer the state’s first Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity in 2019.

At a Wednesday, December 12 meeting, the Louisiana Board of Regents offered the final approval and support for the University’s program that will enroll its first cohort for Fall of 2019.

“We’re excited because of what this means for our students and our campus,” said President Rick Gallot of Grambling State. “Throughout this process, we have seen in

interest in this degree come in from every direction and at every level – including current students on campus who want to switch their major today.”

Program Interest & Student Opportunity

For six years, Grambling State has led Louisiana as the top producer of African-American Computer Science graduates. Today, more than 300 students on campus have completed at least one of the nine active courses in cybersecurity offered at Grambling State. These courses count toward the new degree or a concentration for current students majoring in Criminal Justice, Computer Information Systems, and Engineering Technology.

A Fall 2017 student survey showed 75 percent of GSU students expressed some level of interest in the new degree.

“Cybersecurity is one of the top issues right now in the world of technology,” said GSU computer science major, Jarrid Richards. “If I were not graduating this fall, I would definitely change my major. I think every student should consider the field; cybersecurity is technology’s next big opportunity.”

According to third-party data published by Indeed.com, salaries for entry-level jobs in cybersecurity range from approximately $36,101 per year for internships to $113,851 per year for IT Security Specialist nationwide.

Program Overview & Next Steps

The new program’s director will be Dr. Yenumula B. Reddy, a current Grambling State faculty member, researcher and member of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission; who has spearheaded the program’s development.

“We are excited about the work of Dr. Reddy and his team,” said President Gallot. “Their innovation in research and the classroom have a tremendous impact on our students.”

As proposed, the Grambling State University Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity will require the completion of 120 credit hours; including specialized coursework in computer science, criminal justice, and network architecture and security.

As a next step, the University will hire two additional faculty and prepare to open 12 new courses in Cybersecurity during the 2019-2020 academic year pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

For more program information, interested students can visit gram.edu/cybersecurity.

“With the vision of your team and the support of this Board, we are confident Grambling is prepared to educate cybersecurity professionals the market is demanding,” said  University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors Chair Al Perkins. “These graduates will be equipped with highly sought-after skills to protect us as technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives.”

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