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New Global Cybersecurity Program Adds Executive Skills & Ethics

Fact: Humans make decisions that impact the role of digital technology in our society. University of St. Thomas- Houston encourages that those decisions be guided by ethics informed by Catholic social teaching.

With its new Global Cybersecurity B.A. program starting in fall 2021, St. Thomas will give students a decided advantage. In addition to providing tech-savvy skills, UST is expanding the conversation about the impact and role of technology in society today, injecting values and ethics into the governance conversation, structuring its program to encourage participation by women and persons of color, and setting its students up for success and leadership.

UST’s Cybersecurity Program: a Cut Above & Led by Experience

“Other cybersecurity programs are tech-heavy and tech-specific,” Director of UST’s B.A. Global Cybersecurity program Eric Botts said. “Their graduates wind up moving from one entry-level position to another, seldom cracking the ceiling to manager or senior levels.”

As a retired U.S. State Department employee, Botts came to the policy world first and cybersecurity second. He began working as a foreign service officer, then in the civil service as an assistant director in passport services and an information systems security officer. Along the way, he worked on the operations/policy side and closely with cyber and computer system administration in a management role. While at the Department of State, Botts worked with the Federal Executive Board working with various intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental groups on incident response to all hazard events, including major cyber breaches. The goal was to help organizations and build resiliency into their systems. He sees a great need to prepare technical people to understand policy.

Botts said, “I noticed that everyone was siloed, and there was no one to understand and connect the different groups like governance, operations, and supply chain. I stepped into that critical role.”

Identifying and Bridging a Gap

The multi-disciplinary program, housed within the Department of International Studies and Modern Languages, will prepare students to bridge that gap between technicians and the executive level. Jobs could include interfacing with internet governance societies about data protection, privacy and ethics, designing systems and policies for small to mid-sized businesses, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and auditing systems for bias.

“Our students will understand the digital ecosystem on both the theoretical and operational level, including management of a Security Operations Center (SOC),” Botts said. “They will know about writing software applications and defending systems from attacks, but their orientation will be at a different level. They will be able to address the moral and ethical framework as well as advise, ‘Before you sign this contract, here are some of the vulnerabilities as you go into this market.’”

Society is creating a global digital ecosystem where all commerce is e-commerce. Social and political systems sit on a digital platform as well.

With the new Global Cybersecurity B.A., St. Thomas stays on the cutting edge of these evolving conversations. UST addresses the topics at the level of purpose and ethical conduct to advance human progress. The result is well-prepared students for success.

Be Part of A Unique Program

The Dean for the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences & Global Studies, Dr. Hans Stockton, added, ”The planned B.A. in Global Cybersecurity is a unique program that combines essential technical knowhow, strong moral and ethical principles, and crucial knowledge about the global, policy, and regulatory contexts for success in the cyber domain. The planned B.A. is ‘cyber,’ but even more comprehensive.”

The program is offered 100% online or hyflex. More information about the new Global Cybersecurity B.A. program can be found here.