08-01-2021 Education - Flipbook - Page 3
A Special Advertising Section of Baltimore Sun Media Group | Sunday, August 1, 2021 3
with a difference
Salisbury has been ranked No. 1 for having the highest percentage of female recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science among public institutions.
Cybersecurity and computer science are booming fields
By E. Rose Scarff, Contributing Writer
nyone who listens to the daily news
knows how important it is to have good
cybersecurity in place whether for government and for business. The shortage
of qualified cybersecurity professionals
makes this a field with expanding opportunity.
There is also a great need for cyber accountants
and those trained in all aspects of computer science.
Towson University has long been known as a
school with a strong computer and information
sciences department. They are the only school
in Maryland, besides the U.S. Naval Academy,
that has been recognized as a center of academic
excellence in cyber operations and cyber defense.
Towson is also able to offer two different scholarship programs for students who want to pursue
studies in cybersecurity, which are also open to
A National Science Foundation Scholarship
grant funds the CyberCorps program offers twoyear scholarships, covering tuition, books and a
yearly stipend of $22,000 in addition to health
insurance and an allowance for travel to professional conferences.
The Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber
Scholarship program will provide selected students with a stipend of $25,000 plus the full cost
of tuition, books, fees and health care. Students
completing the program must agree to work
for the DoD for a calendar year for each year
of scholarship assistance. There are internship
opportunities offered, as well as a scholarship for
But before students can get into high level
cybersecurity work, they need to know the basics.
“We try to make it interesting,” says Aisha AliGombe, Ph.D., assistant professor in the computer
and information sciences department. The goal is
to learn about systems and about programing and
understand how it works and where the vulnerabilities are. “Because any vulnerability is a vulnerability,” says Ali-Gombe.
“We introduce secure coding in introductory
classes,” says Blair Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the graduate program. As
they learn about secure coding, they learn about
Because of where Towson is geographically,
there are many opportunities for graduates to find
employment. “I emphasize that we are securing
our nation, and we need diverse teams to help do
that,” says Taylor. The program encourages applicants of all genders and ethnicities to accomplish
this. Besides the opportunities in cybersecurity,
Towson offers other programs in computer science fields.
The masters in cyber accounting program
at the University of Maryland Global Campus
(UMGC) builds on their already strong presence
in cybersecurity education. The program gives
accountants the skills to work alongside cybersecurity professionals. This is a new field of study for
accounting students, but it prepares them for the
realities of accounting in a global economy.
“From the beginning of the accounting industry, accountants have had the responsibility of
creating internal controls,” says Sharon L. Levin,
Ed.D., C.P.A., professor of graduate accounting.
This was mostly to thwart dishonest employees
and was done through auditing and other internal
controls. “With the shift to cloud computing and
other technological advances, cyber criminals
have many more opportunities to access corporate
assets without ever having to step into the business,” says Levin.
Even the CPA exam is being revised to include
information systems and controls as one of the
discipline topics. It is important for accountants
to be alert to the risk of cyberattacks because an
accounting firm has financial data from businesses of all sizes, from big corporations down to
an individual’s tax returns.
The move to cyber accounting for global
companies and financial institutions make these
skills that accountants will need along with communication skills. “How do they communicate
cybersecurity issues to the CEO or the CIO or the
CFO?” points out Levin. “They need experience
with talking with people who don’t know where
they’re coming from.”
Accountants are often the first to become
aware of threats to the finances of a company. By
working closely with cybersecurity professionals,
they can identify vulnerabilities and can create
strategic plans to protect assets. By continuously
evaluating the need for new controls, they can
help close any gap in security.
Accounting is also a career where you can
connect with your passion, whether it be sports,
travel, non-profits, big business or show business.
Every industry needs accountants. And thanks
to the pandemic, many firms are now allowing
auditors to work remotely, which also makes it a
One of the big advantages to majoring in
computer science at Salisbury University (SU) is
the small class size and the individual attention
each student receives. The faculty are a diverse
group. They have real world experience and act as
role models for diversity in the field. SU has been
ranked No. 1 for having the highest percentage
of female recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science among public institutions.
Diversity also includes people of color, immigrants, out-of-state students and foreign students
from as far away as Korea and Japan. This diversity helps prepare students for the modern, global
The cybersecurity programs at the
University of Maryland Global Campus
(UMGC) are uniquely designed for the adult
learner. As a online institution, UMGC can
meet the student where they are, whether they
already have a background in cybersecurity or
are changing careers.
“One thing we do really well,” says Helen
Barker, D.M., department chair for cybersecurity at UMGC, “is focus on practical skills that
are career oriented. Our graduates are ready to
be contributing employees the moment they
step into an organization. We provide a solid
UMGC’s mission is to improve the lives
of adult learners by providing open access to
affordable and valued higher education. No matter their previous experience in the field, UMGC
programs are designed to help students gain the
knowledge and skills they need and employers
are looking for. “It’s very much geared to not
only those with experience, but to those who
are career changers,” says Barker. “We provide
them what they need to start from ground zero.”
These students may have to work a little harder
initially, but they are provided with the tools to
Faculty at UMGC also does its best to instill
in students that there will be a constant need
for lifelong learning in this career if they want
to stay current. UMGC’s range of offerings are
tailored to what a particular student needs to get
started or to advance in this career and continue
With this in mind, the curriculum is continually updated and taught by faculty who are
experts in their fields and who use their contacts
and knowledge to keep the course work up to
date. Faculty also have training in creating a
culture where students feel comfortable commucontinued on page 7
workplace where they will be working with people
from many different backgrounds.
Because of the small class size, faculty are able
to get to know their students. Each student has
a faculty advisor to help guide them throughout
their time at SU. Another advantage is the opportunity for study abroad after graduation. But a
strong background in computer science comes
first. Students get a grounding in the basics and
then can dig deeper in software development,
software engineering, system analysis, super-computing, systems security, robotics or data science.
“We are going to do classes in big data,”
says Xiohong Wang, Ph.D., professor of computer science at SU, speaking of the data science
course through the Henson School of Science and
continued on page 7
Get started on the credentials you need for the career you want.
Now through August 31, we'll waive your application fee. UMGC offers:
Online, career-relevant programs
No-cost digital resources replacing most textbooks
Financial resources and scholarships for those who qualify
Personalized advising and career services
Scan the QR Code to apply.
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