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New cybersecurity Ph.D. program comes to Augusta University students

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As students walk into the Georgia Cyber Center, a new career opportunity is waiting. It’s an opportunity that will transform the future of cybersecurity in our area.

This program is revolutionary for our area and it’s designed to prepare students for top-ranking positions in research institutions, government agencies, and tech start-ups. School officials say they hope this program prepares students to get into our local organizations.

“This is a relatively new development in the field and we are pioneers in that respect,” said Gagan Agrawal, Interim Associate Dean of the program.

Now students in AU’s School of Computer and Cybersecurity will be able to get a Ph.D. in the field.

“This is an important step towards the university becoming a major research university as well as our school becoming frontline research-oriented,” said Agrawal.

And this not only helps students become better prepared but pushes them to stay in our local workforce.

“As Ph.D. students start graduating they will be very qualified and because they will already be in this area, you will expect many of them will be working locally in the area and that’s going to be very very well trained,” said Agrawal.

There’s a major transformation happening in Augusta. Forbes listed the Garden City as a top-ten cyber capital in the world, which is perfect because the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences has seen a double-digit percent increase in undergrads enrolled in their program.

It’s the perfect formula for keeping students right here at home.

“If you really want someone who has seen it all and done it all and can go do more cutting-edge things then you want to recruit Ph.D. students,” Agrawal said.

It’s something local employers have been waiting for since they moved to Augusta.

“As a school, we have a number of local partners,” Agrawal said. “They all have been expecting us to start this program.”

There are no additional costs to running this program and they expect to have classes in the Georgia Cyber Center on the second floor. This program is set to kick off in the fall semester of this year, and they say they’ve already seen students showing interest in this career path.

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