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USF Muma College of Business launches cybersecurity major at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

The University of South Florida is offering a new major that provides students a pathway to high-paying careers in cybersecurity.

The Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management (IACM) program, which is hosted at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, is a unique major in the Muma College of Business that combines core courses in business with information assurance, cybersecurity management and analytics.

Students in the major attain valuable in-depth skills to work at an array of companies and large corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and institutions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts earn a media salary of $99,730 per year, and the number of jobs is expected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, far outpacing most other professions.

Javidi with student

Giti Javidi oversees the IACM major.

“Many organization’s cybersecurity teams continue to struggle with a cyber communication disconnect between senior management and technical cybersecurity personnel,” said Information Technology Professor Giti Javidi, who oversees the major. “The IACM degree originated with the notion that organizations need cybersecurity experts who have technical and non-technical skills to bridge this gap in communication. The degree assumes that cybersecurity management is a business function. Therefore, graduates with an IACM degree will gain vast knowledge and skills in both business and cybersecurity to be the frontline of support for governments and organizations. They will gain familiarity with the various metrics to convert a threat into an estimated loss and thus speak the senior management language.”

The IACM major debuted this past fall. Course topics include cybersecurity analytics, cybersecurity threat intelligence, database management, risk management, cloud solution architectures and cybersecurity governance and policies, among others.

Javidi said that demand is high for cybersecurity practitioners who not only possess technical abilities but also the business expertise to:

• apply security expertise across a wide variety of business enterprises
• operate under pressure with a strong ethical backbone
• understand business processes and the impact of compromised assets
• communicate and implement risk-based approach to security
• apply analytics to cybersecurity to generate actionable intelligence to improve security and privacy in organizations

Although the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus hosts the IACM major, the program is available to USF students at any campus.

jean kabongo

Jean Kabongo, campus dean

Students enrolled in the program gain skills in the business management of cybersecurity, including risk management; incident business response; the use of analytics to detect, isolate, and prevent cybersecurity attacks; and overall management of cybersecurity functions within companies.

Graduates of the program can pursue opportunities as cybersecurity auditors, information assurance compliance specialists, cybersecurity consultants, cybersecurity incident response analysts, cybersecurity specialists, cyber intelligence analysts, cybersecurity operations analysts, cybersecurity planning SME and other related positions.

“We are proud of the IACM major on the Sarasota-Manatee campus as it strengthens the Muma College of Business in a unique way,” Sarasota-Manatee campus Dean Jean Kabongo said. “By graduating students competent in the family of jobs within cybersecurity management, the IACM major will help faculty and staff connect with students, alumni and local businesses and professional organizations while also impacting positively our community and beyond.”

For more about the Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management major, visit https://www.usf.edu/business/undergraduate/information-assurance-cybersecurity/.

To learn more about the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, visit www.sarasotamanatee.usf.edu.

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