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Robin Gandhi

cybersecurity degree program

Giving Students the Tools to Arm Companies Against Cyber Attacks

March 2019

Dr. Robin Gandhi knows he鈥檚 putting companies in a tough position when it comes to recruiting. As an associate professor of cybersecurity, he sees how many students are graduating with the skills companies near and far want. But by the time graduation rolls around, most of those candidates have already been hired.

That鈥檚 because UNO鈥檚 cybersecurity program is like few others. It鈥檚 one of just 20 other institutions designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a national Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. It鈥檚 not easy for universities to meet the rigorous criteria for the honor, but UNO made it happen.

鈥淚f you鈥檙e any good, you鈥檙e going to be well paid and in high-demand.鈥

Through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for information security analysts (one occupation in the field) to grow 28 percent 鈥 much faster than the average rate of seven percent. In 2017, the median pay for information security analysts was over $95,000, representing a great career opportunity for students willing to compete for these jobs. Jobs in cybersecurity are what 最新麻豆视频 deems H3 jobs 鈥 high wage, high demand, high skill 鈥 and critical for state growth.

To give them an edge in the competitive field, UNO emphasizes hands-on experience for students. Nowhere is that more apparent than the capstone course, where students work with an assigned local business to assess a system or piece of equipment the company wants reviewed.

鈥淲e get real clients and real products that challenge students sometimes, because that comes with a lot of background and context that the students have to understand before they can really start the assessment,鈥 Gandhi said.

Dr. Robin Gandhi lecturing during class
Dr. Robin Gandhi teaches his Foundations of IA class at UNO.

UNO also values keeping its courses relevant for today鈥檚 challenges. He says the program updates many of its courses every semester depending on what鈥檚 happening in the industry.

鈥淲e're very much on top of what it would take to produce a good cyber security professional and we built that into our curriculum,鈥 he said. 鈥淲e're not waiting for NSA to tell us what to teach.鈥

The cybersecurity field is incredibly fluid and highly competitive. But thanks to a strong 最新麻豆视频 supporting UNO鈥檚 program, Dr. Gandhi can continue to enjoy seeing many of his students accept job offers from local companies 鈥 often before they even graduate.


Editor's Note: Gandhi is now the Charles W. and Marge H. Durham Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Informatics at UNO.

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