Nexus in Cybersecurity
CSU’s Cybersecurity Nexus degree was created with feedback from industry partners to address a tremendous shortage of cybersecurity professionals. CyberSeek, a program of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, projects that there are more than 504,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. with 18,378 of those located in the State of Georgia and 6,035 in Alabama.1 According to Indeed's Career Database of over 150 million jobs globally, the average salary of entry level cybersecurity professionals is $60,000 - $114,000.2
Students enrolled in the Nexus degree will complete six eight-week terms of cybersecurity education over the course of a year. Those 18 credit hours are laid out in a boot-camp format with instruction happening five-days a week for 4.5 hours per day. It also includes an experiential hands-on apprenticeship for students to gain real world experience as requested by employers. In order to obtain the full Nexus Degree, students will also need to complete 42 hours of general education. The Practitioner of Cybersecurity in FinTech Certificate is an 18-credit undergraduate certificate designed to be awarded as a credential for those non-degree seeking individuals who wish to complete cybersecurity course work.
Program Structure Overview
The structure of the Nexus is designed for students to finish the degree in approximately two years. Besides the 18-credit hours of Cybersecurity specific courses, there is an additional 42-credit hours of General Education courses required to complete the 60-hour degree.
The Practitioner Certificate consists of just the 18-credit hour Cybersecurity track classes and is taught in 12 months using a cohort, boot camp, apprenticeship model. Students will attend class for 4.5 hours Monday through Friday as well as experience two industry apprenticeships and gain real world hands-on cybersecurity attack and mitigation experience using the CSU Cyber Range.
Students pursuing the Nexus Degree or Practitioner Certificate choose from one of ten academic tracks:
- Vulnerability Assessment Analyst
- Exploitation Analyst
- System Administrator
- Secure Software Assessor
- Cyber Instructor
- Security Control Assessor
- Counterintelligence Forensic Analyst
- FinTech Software QA Assessor
- FinTech Threat Modeling
- FinTech Incident Detection Analyst
Who Should Apply?
The Nexus Degree and Practitioner Certificate are attractive options that appeal to a wide variety of individuals who desire a career in the fast growing field of cybersecurity. Specifically, these academic options apply to the following:
- High school students interested in non-traditional academic education
- High school students interested in a vocational or technical oriented education
- Exiting military work role retraining
- Non-IT related professionals changing professions
- IT professionals changing to cyber-related work roles
- Cyber professionals changing cyber-specific work roles
- Adult learners starting a new career
The Nexus in Cybersecurity of FinTech Mission Statement
The mission of the Nexus Degree and Practitioner Certificate in Cybersecurity of FinTech is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, abilities and credentials in specific cybersecurity areas of practice necessary to meet industry demand for work-ready cybersecurity professionals.
How to Apply
The four-step application process is designed to determine if applicants have the skills and interests necessary to succeed in the program. Admissions decisions for each step are made only after receipt of required documents for that step.
ATTEND INFORMATION SESSION
Due to the special nature of the Nexus, you must attend an Information Session before applying to the program.
Click here to see the schedule of upcoming Information Sessions and to register.
Apply to CSU for admission to the Undergraduate Program, Choose the Nexus Degree on Certificate and gain acceptance.
NOTE: Acceptance to CSU does NOT guarantee you a place in the Nexus program
AFTER SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF STEP 1, PREPARE AND SUBMIT A STATEMENT OF INTENT
The Nexus is part of a rapid work force development initiative that requires Students be committed and able to meet the intense demands of the program. The Cybersecurity portion of the Degree or Practitioner Certificate is taught in a cohort format with on campus classes running five days a week for 4.5 hours per day over a twelve-month period. A new cohort will begin every eight weeks.
If you are accepted into a cohort, you must progress and advance with your cohort in order to be successful and graduate on time. There is a rapid self-paced online learning component and excessive absences or failure to attend on-campus classes and progress may result in disenrollment from the program. Students who are disenrolled will be required to go through the Nexus acceptance process again in order to gain access to a new cohort.
Therefore, you should prepare and submit a Personal and Professional Statement of Intent. The statement should discuss the following in your own words:
- Why do you want to pursue the Nexus Degree or Practitioners Certificate at this time rather than pursuing a traditional degree?
- What are your career aspirations after you receive the Nexus Degree / Practitioners Certificate?
- What specific Cybersecurity Work Role track are you interested in studying in the Program (e.g., Vulnerability Assessment Analyst, Security Control Assessor, FinTech Incident Detection Analyst), and what specific issues in that area interest you?
- The Cyber portion of the Degree/Certificate requires a commitment of 12 months and 4.5 hours a day, Monday through Friday for successful completion of your cohort. What obstacles/challenges do you anticipate having to overcome to complete the Cyber portion within the allotted period (12 months), and what is your plan to address these obstacles / challenges.
- The Cyber portion of the degree / certificate may not qualify for most forms of financial aid. How do you intend to ensure that you can financially meet completion requirement.
Complete an interview with the Director and two or more faculty and industry partners.
If you live within a reasonable driving distance of Columbus, Georgia, please plan to attend the interview in person. If you live a greater distance away, the admissions committee may consider a phone interview.
During the interview, you will be asked to express your Cybersecurity Track Interest (CTI). Your CTI will be a key factor in the admission decision. We must balance cohorts to reflect industry-hiring demands. Your particular CTI, if not needed in a current cohort, may open up later.
The Admissions Committee will evaluate your interview and, if successful, you will be invited by email to proceed to STEP 4. If you are not qualified, you will be notified as well.
If accepted into a cohort, you will be notified and instructed on the process to obtain a background check. The background check results must be submitted
BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR NEXUS BEFORE ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAMThe Nexus Program requires two eight-week apprenticeships with placement in company cybersecurity positions that require the handling of potentially sensitive information. Passing background checks is required before admission to the program.
Because of class size limitations, not all successful candidates will be selected. Some may be asked to reconsider the Program in a subsequent cohort.
Once an offer is made, candidates have three weeks to accept and pay a non-refundable deposit.
Initial Nexus classes begin sometime in 2020 . A new cohort every 8 weeks thereafter. Orientation for a new cohort will be on a Monday, one day prior to the start of class.