news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Offers Cybersecurity Major Online and Face-to-Face

cybersecurity laptop

Curriculum Prepares Graduates to Succeed in Field Expected to Have 3.5 Million Job Openings

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of individuals employed within the cybersecurity sector is slated to grow 31% by the year 2029, which far exceeds the average for all other occupations. In anticipation of the demand for these jobs, Gardner-Webb University is introducing a cybersecurity major in the traditional undergraduate (TUG) program and Gardner-Webb Online.

A degree in cybersecurity will provide students with the foundations to identify and protect against digital security threats. They will learn crucial techniques to outthink cybercriminals, as well as the technology to support governments and top organizations in their efforts to maintain and secure data.

Robert Bass
Dr. Bob Bass

“The curriculum is based on the standards of the National Security Agency and should prepare graduates for the professional certification tests in the field,” noted Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Bob Bass. “Importantly, many of the required courses for this cybersecurity major are already within the traditional undergraduate computer science major. Computer science majors can supplement their resume with the endorsement of a full set of the coursework for cybersecurity.”

Courses provide training in programming languages, operating systems, computer and network security, database management, data communications, and cybercrime. Classes include topics to help prepare students for CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) A+, Server+, Network+, Security+ and PenTest+ exams; however, these exams are not a requirement of the program.

Students will graduate with the skills needed to succeed in a field that is expected to have 3.5 million job openings in 2025, as reported by Cybersecurity Ventures. Bass added, “By mid-career, individuals in this field can expect to earn a median annual salary over $100,000 per year.”

While the first TUG introductory class began in January 2023, the first Gardner-Webb Online class will begin on March 9. Additionally, Gardner-Webb has admission agreements with three community colleges: Blue Ridge in Flat Rock, N.C., Richmond in Hamlet, N.C., and Wilkes in Wilkesboro. Agreements with other community colleges will be announced soon. Through these agreements, graduates from these schools with appropriate associate degrees have direct admission into Gardner-Webb Online.

Along with gaining the skills needed to work in the cybersecurity field, Gardner-Webb Online students have access to a dedicated Success Coach or Program Advisor, who provides advising, support and mentoring. Plus, help is available from an online tutoring service, the GWU Writing Center, the University’s Center for Personal and Professional Development, and Noel Center Services. Pastoral care is also available through the Office of Christian Life and Service.

Courses in the Gardner-Webb Online cybersecurity major are offered in the eight-week format. The classes are asynchronous, meaning that due dates are provided for a structured environment while allowing students the flexibility to work at their own pace. For more information or to register for Gardner-Webb Online, email [email protected] or call 704-406-4484.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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