A new master’s degree program at Niagara University will prepare graduates for in-demand careers in cybersecurity – both in government and the private sector.

The M.S. in information security and digital forensics (ISDF), which will begin this fall, will equip individuals with the knowledge necessary to obtain a Certified Information Systems Security Management Professional (CISSP) credential.

Students will study utilizing the latest tools, including professional applications in computer and mobile forensics at Niagara University’s new on-campus information security lab. They will concentrate on network security, ethical hacking, data privacy and modern cryptography. The ISDF program isn’t only intended for individuals with computer and information sciences degrees, but also for graduate students with backgrounds in criminal justice, nursing and accounting.

The demand for specialized information security personnel with master’s degrees is on the rise, and data indicates that this field will continue to grow nationwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the information security field will grow at a rate of 18 percent (2014-2024). Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor has outlined a similar growth rate for New York (17.2 percent) during the same period. In Western New York, there is an expected growth of 36.8 percent (2012-2022).

“Information security analyst” ranked fifth on CareerCast’s list of the most in-demand jobs for 2017, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hiring trends and trade statistics, university graduate employment data and the job search website’s own job listings.

“Information security breaches and threats are on the rise, and it is more important than ever to prepare for such threats,” said Dr. Petter Lovaas, associate professor of computer and information sciences. “One of the key components to improving information security is the ability to find qualified employees with a solid understanding of this relatively new area of vulnerability. It is imperative for universities to develop and sustain academic programs that prepare information security specialists to defend against information breaches.”

For more information, please visit www.niagara.edu/isdf or contact Dr. Lovaas at ude.aragain@etaudargsic.