May 15, 2020

New degree prepares tech professionals for cybersecurity challenges of the future

Master of Information Security and Privacy degree offers hands-on learning to build technical skills

The Faculty of Science is adding a new graduate program offering to help tech professionals step up to the challenges of the current and future digital economy.

The new Master in Information Security and Privacy (MISP) is a professional graduate degree designed for IT professionals who are looking to the future of work in our province, as our local, provincial, and national economies shift.

The first cohort of students in this new program is expected to begin classes in September 2021.

Job market demand for cybersecurity professionals

As organizations in the public and private sectors navigate new ways of working and learning remotely, solutions to address cybersecurity and privacy challenges have risen to the top of many priority lists.

It is anticipated that more than 210,000 cybersecurity jobs will need to be filled in Canada within the next three to five years, as every organization from startups to governments seeks to protect themselves against cyberattacks.

“Cybersecurity specialists are in high demand across every industry to help identify and mitigate threats to organizations. It’s important to have graduates with practical experience in the field, and the master’s program will emphasize real-world scenarios,” says Dr. Philip Fong, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, and the program director for the information security programs.

Computer Science department head Dr. Christian Jacob, PhD, says the degree program is unique, thanks to its integration of experiential learning and technical skills training.

“These programs address the importance of data privacy and information security skills, and lifelong learning required for professionals to remain relevant — and employed — in an environment continually impacted by technological change.”

Students in the MISP can expect to learn from internationally recognized innovators from across all areas of information security, including researchers from the Institute for Security, Privacy, and Information Assurance (ISPIA). ISPIA is committed to developing the next generation of practitioners and researchers, and providing training for professionals to acquire the skills they need to deliver secure systems in their modern workplace.

Applications to the program will be accepted beginning Nov. 1, 2020.

More information will be available in the coming weeks on the Faculty of Science’s Information Security Programs website.

Program co-ordinators can be reached for questions at informationsecurity@ucalgary.ca.