UVU’s Cybersecurity Program Ranked as the Second-Most Affordable Cybersecurity Program in the U.S.

Utah Valley University (UVU) has the second-most affordable cybersecurity program in the nation, according to Cyber Degrees EDU.


Above: Members of UVU's cybersecurity program pose at a competition in 2018. 

Utah Valley University has the second-most affordable cybersecurity program in the nation, according to Cyber Degrees EDU.

Cyber Degrees EDU is an industry-leading online resource for cybersecurity education that provides independent information for students looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity or computer science. The affordability ranking, which accounts for factors such as tuition rates and return on investment, acknowledged the cost-effective and dynamic value of UVU’s cybersecurity offerings, which include three bachelor’s degrees, a graduate certificate, and a master’s degree.

Faculty from UVU’s cybersecurity program have designed courses and programs to cover many different aspects of cybersecurity through applied learning. “While other programs are very heavy on theory, our programs are applied in nature and are career-focused,” said Dr. Basil Hamdan, the director of the cybersecurity program. “We strive to equip our students with the applied knowledge and hands-on skills that are highly sought by employers.”

Due to the ever-changing nature of cybersecurity threats and technology, faculty members work closely with industry partners, revising curricula and courses as needed to stay current with industry trends. The field is experiencing significant job growth. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for information security analysts from 2019 to 2029 is expected to grow 27% faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

The cybersecurity program hosts a student-run club that meets regularly throughout the year. The club provides opportunities to network with students and professionals in the field, learn from industry experts, practice cybersecurity techniques, and compete in national competitions. In 2018, teams from the club took first place in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) and the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) Invitational Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

The UVU Center for National Security Studies also provides opportunities to get involved in cybersecurity. This month, a group of UVU students from the national security program received international recognition as they took first place in the Atlantic Council's Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, outperforming top universities such as Tufts, Georgetown, Columbia, and Duke.

UVU’s cybersecurity offerings not only benefit students, but also serve the university as a whole. In October, the cybersecurity program leads “Hacktober,” a monthlong cybersecurity awareness campaign designed to educate faculty, staff, and students about digital defense tools and techniques.

“We have implemented Hacktober campaigns to increase awareness of cyber threats among the campus community,” Hamdan said. “Among other things, the campaigns involved panel discussion by local cyber experts, a lock-picking competition, and a cyber checkup held by the cybersecurity club. We look forward to continuing this tradition in the future.”

UVU’s proximity to “Silicon Slopes,” the hub of Utah’s tech and startup community, and its wide variety of cybersecurity offerings allow students to benefit from unique learning opportunities at an affordable price. Whether a student wants to pursue a new career path, advance an existing career, or simply learn how to have a safer online experience, UVU provides cybersecurity learning opportunities for all levels.

To learn more, please visit the Cybersecurity at UVU webpage.