The concentration in Information Security and Assurance is the first of its kind at a public institution in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. In response to national and state needs for graduates with education in information security, the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu, in cooperation with University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, state and federal law enforcement agencies, state security officials, and local businesses, developed an expansive security education program covering a wide variety of technical and managerial aspects within the field.
UH West Oʻahuʻs Bachelor of Applied Science degree with a concentration in Information Security and Assurance (BAS-ISA) – also known as cyber security – offers a four-year program and several pathway programs in partnership with Honolulu Community College’s associate’s degree program in Computing, Electronics and Networking Technologies (CENT); Leeward Community College’s associate’s degree program in Information and Computer Science (ICS); Kapiʻolani Community College’s associate’s degree program in Information Technology (IT); and Windward Community Collegeʻs associateʻs degree program in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to provide graduates with a high-level management education and cutting-edge technical courses to succeed in cyber career fields. Students generally complete all coursework at the UH West Oʻahu campus or sequentially complete the associate’s degree at the community college level, earning automatic acceptance into the bachelor’s degree program.
Careers and Earning Potential
Job opportunities in Information Security and Assurance are abundant and highly lucrative. Graduates are typically qualified to pursue include information security analyst, security investigator, penetration tester, forensic analyst, network security engineer, cyber operations professional, or information technology program manager. Graduates may work in cybersecurity positions responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber intrusion or similar positions with industry, healthcare, or community service organizations.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Information Security Analysts and Computer Network Architects earn roughly $75,000 a year. The projected employment for Information Security Analysts and Computer Network Architects, from 2010 to 2020, is expected to grow faster than average at 22 percent. An excerpt from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook:
“Cyber attacks have grown in frequency and sophistication over the last few years, and many organizations are behind in their ability to detect these attacks. Analysts will be needed to come up with innovative ways to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating havoc on computer networks.”
The federal government is expected to greatly increase its hiring of information security analysts to protect the nation’s critical information technology (IT) systems. In addition, as the healthcare industry expands its use of electronic medical records, ensuring patients’ privacy and protecting personal data are becoming more important. More information security analysts are likely to be needed to create the safeguards that will satisfy patients’ concerns.
For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Industry Sectors website.
National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE)
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated the University of Hawai’i – West Oʻahu as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through academic year 2021. UH West Oʻahu is the only four-year university in the State of Hawaiʻi with this certification.