September 5, 2017

Purdue earns top cybersecurity study ranking among universities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University received the top ranking among 20 institutions for its multidisciplinary work in the area of cybersecurity.

Facets of the university’s work, in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute Department of Computer and Information Technology and the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), were cited in the ranking.

 Eugene H. Spafford, a computer science professor and founder and director emeritus of CERIAS, complimented the rankings for fleshing out each of Purdue’s various departments that study cybersecurity.

“We’re not an individual program in a computer science department,” he said. “Too often, rankings just look at a department and we’re much more than that.”

“We’ve been defining the field for 20 years now. It is very gratifying that it’s visible,” Spafford added.

CyberDegrees.org, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of informational websites on higher education, issued the rankings. The list assessed the qualities of schools from a variety of angles, including subject expertise, scholarship opportunities and designation as a national security agency national center of academic excellence in cyber defense.

In the ranking, Purdue’s cybersecurity was termed a “land of opportunity” for graduate students, offering a number of solid programs as well a variety of research and initiatives.

The rankings are available at http://www.cyberdegrees.org/listings/top-schools/#Best_Cyber_Security.

Marcus Rogers, head of the Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Computer and Information Technology, said the ranking solidifies the assurance of quality graduates that both the department and program stand behind.

“With the rankings, we also see an uptick in companies that are wanting more access to our students,” Rogers added. “We also see an increase in universities and colleges that are new to this and ask for advice on how we got started. We don’t see them as competitors, we see that as complimentary. We’re more than happy to do it.”

Dongyan Xu, interim director of CERIAS, said Purdue partners with industry leaders to create hands-on training opportunities for students to bolster their education.

“By going through our cybersecurity education programs, students not only learn about theory or ideas from text books, but they actually get exposed to challenges coming from the real world,” he said.

Through this opportunity, students can be identified by companies as a potential target for hire or recruiting even before they graduate.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Xu said. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Sources: Eugene Spafford, 765-494-7825, spaf@purdue.edu

Dongyan Xu, 765-494-6182, dxu@cs.purdue.edu

Marcus Rogers, 765-496-1072, rogersmk@purdue.edu

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