Tuesday, Aug 2, 2022
A $66K grant was secured by Dr. Elizabeth Hawthorne for the project
by Katie Nicholas
Rider University recently secured a $66,500 grant from Northeastern University. The funds will go toward implementing a technical bridge program for Rider’s master’s program in cybersecurity. The program, Inclusive On-Ramp to [email protected], will allow students with a bachelor’s degree in any field to study cybersecurity.
Dr. Elizabeth Hawthorne, program director for the master’s program in cybersecurity, secured the funding. She says a bridge program is crucial to fill a projected gap in cybersecurity workers.
"According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there are 3.5 million cybersecurity professionals needed by 2025,” she says. “The program will help bridge that urgent workforce gap by providing students who did not study cybersecurity or computer science at the undergraduate level with the foundational skills needed to succeed at the master’s level.”
Students...will have an abundance of opportunities for them after they graduate with average salaries near or over $100,000."
The program is set to begin in fall 2023 and will include online self-paced modules supervised by a faculty member. Depending on a student’s undergraduate major, the program will take approximately six to 12 weeks to complete.
“The program is open to anyone with a bachelor's degree and a sincere desire to pursue a rewarding career in cybersecurity,” says Hawthorne. “Students who graduate with a master’s in cybersecurity will have an abundance of opportunities for them after they graduate with average salaries near or over $100,000.”
As a cyber forensic expert, Hawthorne teaches her cyber warriors (her favorite nickname for her students) how to both thwart cybercrimes and investigate the ones that do occur.
"Cybersecurity students will have the technical skills to 'lift the hood' off a computing system, so to speak, to find the digital smoking gun," she says.
Hawthorne joined Rider in 2020 as an adjunct assistant professor of computer science and cybersecurity before becoming the full-time director of the online master’s program in cybersecurity. In addition to teaching at Rider, she is a distinguished educator of the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society and a charter member of the nonprofit organization Women in Cybersecurity.