SPRINGFIELD — When the University of Massachusetts was developing its cyber security program at the UMass Center at Springfield, it surveyed area employers about the need for trained computer security professionals.
Yes, please, they said. We want more … and fast.
This program is for Springfield,” said Tracy Mitrano, who is the academic dean and an instructor for UMass Amherst cyber security programs. “We are in a global information economy. You cannot navigate a global information economy if all your information is just getting sucked out.
That goes if you are Baystate Health with its database of patient information or MassMutual Financial Group, which holds sensitive financial and customer data.
“Anytime you have customers’ data on hand, you are in this realm, whether you are Yankee Candle, Peter Pan Bus Lines or Big Y,” Mitrano said.
She spoke Thursday during an open house for the Trust Assurance and Cybersecurity Certificate Program, which UMass offers at its UMass Center at Springfield in Tower Square downtown.
“We offer it here because we want it to be part of the community,” Mitrano said.
The program’s first cohort of 10 students is midway through the program now. Students already enrolled are expected to begin a capstone project in January.
A new set of classes for a new cohort of students begins in November. That’s the class Mitrano was trying to fill with Thursday’s open house.
Trust, Assurance and Cybersecurity Certificate Program Information Session
In June, MassMutual announced that its MassMutual Foundation will donate $15 million to University of Massachusetts computer science programs over the next 10 years.
Of the $15 million, $12 million supports the the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Data Science with additional faculty, a doubling of the number of available courses and an expansion of the master’s degree program.
In Springfield, the company will donate $3 million over 10 years to expand a cybersecurity certificate program taught at the university’s center in MassMutual-owned Tower Square. The cybersecurity certificate program is an eight-week, 15-credit-hour program.
The program costs $750 a credit hour, and all courses total 15 credit hours for a total of $11,250. Classes meet at night in Springfield and are also accessible remotely.
Topics include internet law and policy, introduction to computer security, hate speech and free speech and intellectual property rights.
Professionals in the field in Greater Springfield earn in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, she said.
More information is available at http://www.umass.edu/tacc/home.