The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 37% growth in cybersecurity jobs from 2021 to 2022, a higher growth rate than almost all other industries. With over half a million unfilled cybersecurity jobs currently, and over 1.8 million open jobs projected for 2021, the UA Little Rock Department of Computer Science focuses on providing students the education and opportunities they need to thrive in this challenging discipline. We invite you to come to be a part of a community working hard to protect and defend our society against cybersecurity threats.
UA Little Rock a longstanding designation as a DHS and NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and provides the course offerings to prepare future cybersecurity professionals to hit the ground running in their careers. Our faculty come with rich industry experience and have a passion to build your skills and interest in cybersecurity defense operations. Our curriculum is dynamic to meet the constantly changing threat landscape in cybersecurity.
UA Little Rock sits in the capital city with two large military bases and numerous financial, energy, IT services and retail organizations. We have a strong relationship with our industry partners and work to identify local internships and job placements for our graduates. Through our research and workforce development initiatives, students are able to work closely with industry, the military, and government agencies throughout their academic careers.
The average salaries for cybersecurity Analyst and related positions are as follows:
- Application Security Engineer: $100,000 to $210,000
- Network Security Analyst: $90,000 to $150,000
- IS Security Manager: $120,00 to $180,000
- Cybersecurity Analyst: $90,000 to $185,000
- IS Security Engineer: $90,000 to $150,000
- Penetration Tester: $80,000 to $130,000
Consortium for Cyber Innovation
UA Little Rock has partnered with the Forge Institute and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to establish the Consortium for Cyber Innovation (CCI) to help meet demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.
The consortium will grow applied research capabilities throughout the state. The consortium partners will focus on research, innovation, and workforce development to develop an industry cluster in emerging technologies that will support national defense and designate Arkansas as a Cyber Defense State and cybersecurity hub.
Here, students have the opportunity to work in cutting edge cybersecurity research both as graduates and undergraduates. Through NSF grant funding and in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education and local industry, we develop enterprise-quality workouts in the UA Little Rock Trojan Cyber Arena (formerly UA Little Rock Cyber Gym). These workouts are immediately distributed to middle and high school students throughout the nation. The UA Little Rock Cyber Arena provides a safe and highly accessible cloud environment for students to learn hands-on cybersecurity skills. Our student researchers work to develop new competition-style cybersecurity workouts and find more effective techniques to distribute the content through cloud technologies. Housed in the Emerging Analytics Center, we also engage students in applied cybersecurity research using machine learning and 3-D visualization to target risk reduction. With over $15 million in funding, students work hand-in-hand with government and industry partners to develop solutions to the toughest challenges in cybersecurity.
Information Assurance Programs
The minor in information assurance (IA) is designed to provide students with the knowledge and capacity to implement information security and to solve information assurance problems. The program goals are to heighten awareness of information assurance in the academic community, prepare graduates who are capable of evaluating information assurance situations, and contribute to finding appropriate solutions to information assurance problems.
For students who currently hold degrees in areas other than information assurance, the program provides the environment to develop their knowledge and capacity for implementing information security and to do research in the area. It will also benefit students who wish to supplement their educations with knowledge of how to evaluate and improve the security of data from both technical and social perspectives.
Minor in Information Assurance
The IA minor is not limited to students in the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In addition to students in computer-related programs such as Computer Science, Information Science, or Systems Engineering, the minor is also designed to include those with interests in Criminal Justice or Business Management who may not have extensive backgrounds in computers, math, or technology.
Application and Admission Requirements
Application materials, along with a description of the IA minor, may be obtained from the Department of Computer Science, EIT Building, Room 579, phone 501-916-3130. To ensure consideration of applications, check with the IA minor office for application deadlines.
To apply for this program, students must complete or have completed the following:
- RHET 1312 Composition II, or equivalent
- MATH 1302 College Algebra, MATH 1315 College Math, or equivalent
- Submission of a formal application.
Minor in Information Assurance
The Minor in Information Assurance consists of 20 hours in seven courses. All courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or greater. Students matriculating through colleges other than the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will be approved for network and database courses in Business Management unless written consent from instructors in DCSTEM courses is given.
Required Prerequisite (3 hours)
- IFAS 2300 Introduction to Information Assurance
Core Courses (8 hours)
- CRJU 3309 Cyber Crime and the Law
- IFAS 3300 Computer Forensics
- CPSC/IFSC 2200 Ethics in the Profession
Computer Networking Course (3 hours)
- BINS 4310 Local Area Networks
- IFSC 3315 Applied Networking
- CPSC 4384 Computer Networks or CPSC 3370 Net-centric Computing: Systems Concepts1
- SYEN 3332 Communication Networks
Database Course (3 hours)
- BINS 4350 Business Database Management Systems
- IFSC 3320 Database Concepts
- CPSC 3375 Database Concepts I
- SYEN 3360 Data Communications
Approved Elective (3 hours)
- SYEN 3318 Decision and Risk Analysis
- BINS 4311 Security Issues and Advanced Topics in Network Technologies
- IFSC 4339 Network Security
- IFSC 4330 Database Security
- CPSC 3380 Operating Systems or CPSC 3370 Net-centric Computing: Systems Concepts1
- CPSC 4376 Applied Cryptography
1CPSC 3370 can be taken in place of CPSC 4384 or CPSC 3380 but not both.
Courses in Information Assurance (IFAS)
IFAS 2300 Introduction to Information Assurance
Prerequisite: RHET 1312. Study of information security for roles as security professionals and business decision-makers. This course addresses knowledge areas of the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, including need for security, legal and ethical issues, risk management, security technologies and tools, and personnel security maintenance. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
IFAS 3300 Computer Forensics
Prerequisite: IFAS 2300 and knowledge of Unix or Linux, as well as Windows operating systems. Study of the preservation, identification extraction, documentation, and interpretation of computer data following clear, well-defined methodologies and procedures. This course can be repeated for credit with a different theme. Three hours lecture. Three credit hours.
Does UA Little Rock offer a minor in Cybersecurity?
UA Little Rock continues to offer the minor in Information Assurance. Students already completing this minor will continue to receive the course offerings required to graduate with the minor. Additional courses offered in Cybersecurity will count toward the minor degree, and we plan to transition this into a minor in Cybersecurity.
Does UA Little Rock offer a Cybersecurity BS?
We have a Cybersecurity BS as of Fall 2021.
I’ve already taken courses in the Information Assurance minor. Do these transfer?
Yes, IFAS 2300: Intro to Information Assurance counts for CSEC 1310: Intro to Cybersecurity, and IFAS 3300: Computer Forensics will count for CSEC 3300.
Does UA Little Rock offer a graduate degree in Cybersecurity?
We have programs for both an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Information Sciences. These degrees offer courses and research opportunities in cybersecurity.