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Tulsa Training Cybersecurity Experts to Defend America

This blog was originally posted http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org. It outlines a great program in Tulsa, OK that training the type of Cybersecurity experts the U.S needs right now to be leaders in the field.

The following is the first few paragraphs of the article written by Siri Carpenter. Click here for the full article which I would highly suggest reading.

Few computer geeks have been invited to penetrate the cyber defenses of a major corporation or probe for weaknesses in computer systems that control a national gas pipeline
system. Not many have helped to solve a murder. And only a very few —
all of them, probably, students or alumni of the University of Tulsa’s
elite Cyber Corps Program
— have been taught how to stalk. “I train MacGyvers,” says computer
scientist Sujeet Shenoi, the director of the program, referring to the
hero of the eponymous late-20th century TV show, who solved crimes and
helped people with technical ingenuity and resourcefulness.

Shenoi founded the Cyber Corps Program after being named professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1998. “I
didn’t think I deserved the award, so I thought I should do something
to deserve it,” he says. Michael Jacobs, then information assurance
director at the National Security Agency, had impressed upon him the
urgent need for a fleet of highly trained American cybersecurity
experts. As a newly naturalized U.S. citizen, Shenoi accepted the
challenge, launching the University of Tulsa’s Cyber Corps Program in
1999 to train “the best and brightest” American students to protect the
nation from cyber attack.

Since then, the program has trained about 225 students. In a typical year, about 40% are undergraduates, 40% are master’s degree students, and 20% are pursuing
Ph.D.s. Two scholarship programs — the National Science Foundation’s Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service and the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Information Assurance Scholarship Program — support many of the students.

The Cyber Corps Program prepares students for a variety of cybersecurity career trajectories, including research, operations, project
management, and executive-level positions in the federal government.
The most intense course of study, which Shenoi calls the “MacGyver
Track,” imparts hardware, software, and foreign-language skills to
students who intend to join the intelligence community. The program is
widely regarded as one of the best — and the most intense — in the
nation. “It is a model because of its combination of foundational
education and hands-on skills that will allow them to be effective on
day one in solving real-world problems,” says Richard “Dickie” George,
technical director of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s)
Information Assurance Directorate.

Cyber Corps graduates have gone on to work for DOD — in both military and civilian roles — and for federal agencies such as NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the
Department of Homeland Security, and many others. Competition for
Shenoi’s graduates is keen, George says, noting that one recent
graduate received eight job offers from NSA alone. Shenoi says that’s
not unusual — his students commonly get six or eight job offers with
federal security agencies. One recent graduate, he says, was offered 26

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