Canisius to Offer New Master's Degree in Cybersecurity

March 13, 2020

Buffalo, NY – As cyber threats grow in both sophistication and malice, industries and organizations face a persistent challenge in recruiting cybersecurity professionals skilled in protecting digital infrastructure. By 2021, a remarkable three million cybersecurity jobs will need to be filled, globally, according to the most recent statistics reported by the non-profit ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium).  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that number to grow 32 percent through 2028. 

Canisius College is responding to this talent crunch with the introduction of a new master’s degree program in cybersecurity.  Set to launch in fall 2020, the program will be Western New York’s only technology-based master’s-level cybersecurity program. 

“Right now, cybersecurity is one of the world’s fastest growing professions, as computers play such a significant role in the day-to-day operations of virtually every industry – from business, to banks, hospitals to universities, and government agencies,” says Jeffrey J. McConnell, PhD, chair of the Computer Science Department and co-director of the new cybersecurity program at Canisius.  “Our technology-based curriculum will open up new opportunities for programmers, engineers and software developers who are eager to advance their careers. The curriculum also provides opportunities for those who may not have a strong technical background.”

Aligned with national guidelines for information security professionals, the program provides students with the knowledge, skills and best practices needed to ensure the security and integrity of every type of computing and information system.  In addition to gaining a complete understanding of 21st century cybersecurity tools, students will learn how to build them. The computers in the college’s new state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab afford students the hands-on training necessary to extend their knowledge of computer forensics, cyber intelligence, risk assessment, infiltration techniques, malware analysis, electronic crime, cyber operations and more. 

Further distinguishing the new MS in cybersecurity is coursework that leads to certification. 

“The program and course content was designed to support the earning of certifications so that our students not only graduate with an MS degree but also with the relevant certifications that are certain to make them more marketable throughout the industry,” adds Jeff Spaulding, PhD, assistant professor of computer science and co-director of the cybersecurity program.   

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to perform information security risk assessment, identify potential threats and develop threat mitigation strategies.  Graduates will also be knowledgeable in how to perform audit procedures and evaluate security strengths and weaknesses, and be skilled in communicating information technology security concepts to individuals with diverse levels of computing skills.

For more information on the new MS in cybersecurity, click here or contact the Canisius College Office of Graduate Admissions at 716.888.2545. 

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary during the 2019-20 academic year, marking 150 years of Jesuit education and leadership in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Visit for more information about Canisius’ milestones and celebratory events.