Cybersecurity Education at UMD

  Michel Cukier

Michel Cukier
Associate Director of Education for the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and Director of ACES

MC2 is taking a unique approach in educating the future cybersecurity workforce to serve industry and government needs in Maryland and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. MC2 offers innovative, hands-on educational programs to pre-college students, undergraduates and graduate students. By targeting students as early as middle and high school, MC2 is stimulating early interest in the field of cybersecurity, and providing students with the knowledge and preparation to be successful in their future post-secondary studies and eventual career.

To facilitate the growth of the cybersecurity profession, MC2 is dedicated to introducing the field to students early on, especially those who are interested in STEM and computer subjects. From there, high school students who are already interested in the field will have the opportunity to further develop their cyber-skills, and learn about how they can practically apply those abilities in the field. Through summer programs and weekend workshops, students at different interest and knowledge levels will have direct experience to uniquely learn about cybersecurity from a variety of perspectives.

With this early understanding of the field, MC2 offers undergraduate students several ways to get involved in cybersecurity, including academic studies via ACES (Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students) the new Honors College Program, research opportunities through the summer Cybersecurity Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduates, to competition and teamwork opportunities in the Cybersecurity Club. These activities can be supplemented by undergraduate concentrations in cybersecurity offered by the Computer Science and Computer Engineering departments. Postgraduate opportunities in cybersecurity are also offered at UMD, including a Master and certificate.

MC2 believes that through creating partnerships with other cybersecurity education stakeholders, we can broaden and improve our education efforts. MC2 has partnered with the National CyberWatch Center to offer innovative cybersecurity camps and events for middle and high school students at the UMD College Park campus. MC2 has also joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign’s Academic Alliance, forming a partnership to promote cybersecurity awareness to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community. Through this partnership, MC2 can support broader educational initiatives.

Cybersecurity Education at UMD is providing students with ways to engage in cybersecurity skill-building and learning during each step of their educational career, ensuring that they will become leaders among the future cybersecurity workforce.

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