With the potential for cybercrime and online threats growing as more commerce, learning and entertainment becomes 'virtual,' Temple University's Professional Science Master's in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance (CyberDIA) offers students the tech and leadership skills to help businesses safeguard data, finances, health-related information and privacy. Students gain hands-on experience through internships with industry partners such as Clone Systems, a global network security provider established in 1998.  

According to a 2019 workforce study by (ISC)², a cybersecurity professional organization, the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 145 percent to meet the current demand for skilled cybersecurity talent. In the U.S. specifically, it needs to grow 62 percent. 

"The CyberDIA is specifically designed to prepare students to move directly from school, or another career, into a new career in a fast-growing field," says Mary Grace Giraldo, a cyber security professor at Temple's College of Science and Technology and the program's director. The CyberDIA degree is a Professional Science Master's, which offers a dual emphasis on scientific/technical training and professional development. "Partnering with Clone Systems facilitates project collaboration, and showcases our student pipeline, drawing strengths that bring industry-relevant and resume building activities to the classroom." 

Graduates of the CyberDIA program will have the skills for careers as an information security officer, security analyst, computer security forensic investigator or cyber security systems engineer. The program also covers leadership and ethics; laws and regulations; and compliance, standards, and policies within the industry. Students can complete the program full time or part time with courses both online and in person.  

"This partnership gives students the opportunity to experience real-world cybersecurity scenarios and technology that they typically would not have access to in most classroom situations," says Scot LeVan, chief operations officer of Clone Systems, which is headquartered in Center City, Philadelphia. "It also provides our company with a pipeline of top cybersecurity talent in this challenging market and the opportunity to work with a leading technology university to further develop our tools and solutions."  

One of the first CyberDIA students who will work with Clone Systems is Alexander Photis, currently a Temple senior and computer science major going into the CyberDIA program. "It will be a great way to use the knowledge I've gained in my courses towards a real-world application in the field of cybersecurity," says Photis, who will be analyzing threat reports at Clone Systems. "Going forward, this collaboration will provide Temple students with a valuable experience and help make them competitive candidates for future job opportunities." 

Details about the CyberDIA Professional Science Master's degree are available here or by contacting Mary Grace Giraldo, program director, at mary.grace.giraldo@temple.edu

-Greg Fornia