Cyber Security achieves largest enrollment in debut major at Mercyhurst
In what is being billed “the largest enrollment in a debut program,” Mercyhurst University welcomed 63 Cyber Security majors this fall – 45 freshmen and 18 upperclassmen who have chosen to focus their degree pursuits on this high-demand field.
Although Mercyhurst has infused cyber security concepts as part of its Intelligence Studies curriculum for years, this marks the first year that it has offered Cyber Security as an undergraduate major in its own right. The move coincides with the addition of the MCPc Cyber Education Center at Mercyhurst University, which was dedicated a year ago August as part of the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences.
“The Ridge College, a pioneer in the field of intelligence, is acutely attuned to the needs of the nation in terms of intelligence and is well prepared to develop these in-demand skills in our students,” said university President Michael T. Victor. “While focused almost entirely on national security and law enforcement at its start nearly three decades ago, the Ridge College has evolved to educate students in the burgeoning field of business intelligence, and now, cyber security.”
Adam Williams, a junior from Erie, switched his double major from Intelligence Studies and International Relations to Intelligence Studies and Cyber Security this fall. “I was inspired to pursue Cyber Security the moment I took the introductory courses my sophomore year,” Williams said. “The classes instantly grabbed my attention and made me realize how useful a degree in Cyber Security would be in tandem with my Intelligence Studies degree as cyberattacks become an ever-growing threat to the U.S. national security and the private sector.”
Another junior who made the switch is Jackson Interval of Washington, Pennsylvania. “With the exponential growth in technology use in recent years, the new front for crime and other illicit activities is over the cyber-sphere,” he said. “With a degree in Cyber Security, I will be on the front line in defending against these activities, and will be able to protect innocent people and businesses from having their private information exposed.”
Grove City senior Peter Chuzie switched his major to Cyber Security just this year because, he said, “Cyber Security is a great degree because the people who make up the field tend to be remarkably passionate about the topics and do just as much learning outside the class as they do inside. The cyber security community in general is a place where creativity and critical thinking thrive, and I believe that Mercyhurst is setting up an environment where students are able to challenge themselves and their peers in this field.”
PHOTO: (L-R) Jackson Interval, Peter Chuzie and Adam Williams