University proposes new degree programs

Leslie Ovalle/ Contributing Writer

Two new degree programs were proposed during the last Board of Trustees meeting.

The Board proposed a Master of Arts in Disaster Management and a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, two fields that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, are growing faster than the average for all occupations.

The Bureau said that the homeland security and disaster management fields are growing at a constant 42 percent through 2016 and that computer system analysis is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Both of the motions were approved by the FIU Board of Trustees. They were excited about the doors that these proposals could open for our nation, university and students.

“I can’t imagine the opportunities for the private and public sectors that these two master’s could bring,” said Claudia Puig, Chair of the Board. “I’m glad to know that we are getting ahead.”

The new degree programs were proposed by Elizabeth Bejar, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

First on the agenda was the Master of Arts in Disaster Management, Puig said. The initial launch of the program is built to be funded by auxiliary dollars, not impacting the budget.

According to Bejar, the point of the program is to develop the next generation of disaster professionals who possess the academic tools to meet the aspects of disaster management.

The agenda states that this is a program that will yield a professional degree to the field of disaster management in government, international organizations, private sector corporations and NGOs.

“In a catastrophic disaster—either natural or manmade—there is a real need for educated professionals and leaders,” Bejar said.

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is designed for students who hold a Bachelor’s in computer science, computer engineering, information technology or a related discipline.

The curriculum consists of three complementary perspectives, including a hands-on approach on the best practices and limitations of the field, information on the different principles of the growing science of cybersecurity and the human context of cybersecurity — which includes the social and economic aspects.

According to the agenda, this program was constructed through a survey conducted on students and alumni in the computer sciences field. The results showed that cybersecurity was of great interest to the FIU population.

Gabriel Molina, a sophomore majoring in information technology, finds cybersecurity very interesting.

“I think that it can benefit FIU and many businesses in the international gateway community,” he said. “It can obviously benefit students who are interested in cybersecurity and it can help postgraduate programs grow.”

The Board spoke about the importance of a cybersecurity program in Florida — all because it’s home to tourism, banking and international business.

“These programs reinforce FIU’s mission to achieve excellence in global studies and international understanding,” Bejar said.

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