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Survey Seeks Input from Tech Leaders in Industry, Government

What should a statewide cybersecurity curriculum include? A leader in the effort is asking for guidance and suggestions.

One of the leaders of an effort to create and introduce a cybersecurity curriculum into California’s schools is asking tech professionals from the public and private sectors for their ideas.

In a message posted Friday on LinkedIn, Dr. Keith Clement is asking technology professionals from the public and private sectors to take an eight-question survey to help guide and influence four-year higher education recommendations in the California Cybersecurity Career Education Pipeline and Pathway Project.

Results from the survey will be used, Clement said, “to guide multi-campus consortium program development and implementation.”

Clement, a professor at California State University, Fresno, is chair of the Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee of the California Cybersecurity Task Force, which includes representatives from private industry, academia, law enforcement and the state and federal governments. The task force comes under the aegis of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

In addition to being a frequent speaker on cybersecurity at industry forums, Clement has been leading the subcommittee in a series of online meetings for the last several years, gathering input from academics, industry professionals and others. He told Industry Insider California on Tuesday that subcommittee members are “homing in on our objectives,” including work on a “California Government IT-Cybersecurity Personnel Initiative.”

Through regular updates on LinkedIn and posts on Twitter, Clement champions the concept of introducing the basics of cybersecurity education starting in kindergarten and progressing in complexity through higher education, with a statewide curriculum tailored to age-appropriate concepts. To that end, he’s worked with state government representatives from the California Department of Technology and CalOES, and he’s seeking greater industry participation and support.

The survey questions include:
  • What are key Program Objectives/Outcomes for a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity degree program? (Please include three to five.)
  • What are some examples of the kinds of courses one would anticipate to find as “Core Upper Division Major” courses in a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity degree program?
  • In addition to degree programs, many feel that developing undergraduate industry-recognized “Stacking Certificates” are also useful education and workforce development programs in high need areas such as cybersecurity. What are examples of proposed certificate programs that would be useful to better prepare program graduates and industry needs/demands in cybersecurity?
  • What are your thoughts on the future directions of undergraduate cybersecurity education and workforce development (training)?
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.