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Emporia State University Invests in Computer Science Program, New Cybersecurity Center

Brick building with gold sign in front that says, "Cremer Hall"

Moves enhance ESU’s School of Business

Investments in the Computer Science program in Emporia State’s School of Business will prepare students for the fastest-growing career fields in the nation and answer student and employer needs.

  • Computer Science, Ph.D. — Tenure Track Faculty
  • Cybersecurity Center Director, Full-time Staff

“With the revamped program, newly designed concentrations and modern Cybersecurity Center, our computer science program will stand as one of the top programs in the Midwest,” said Dr. Md. Amjad Hossain, ESU assistant professor of computer science.

“ESU’s investment in computer science greatly enhances our capabilities in this area,” said Dr. Ed Bashaw, dean of the School of Business. “By adding an additional faculty member with a Ph.D. in computer science, we will be able to seek specialized accreditation from Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).”

ABET accreditation is the premier quality assurance marker that informs students, employers and society that students from a program meet high standards of knowledge and are prepared to enter a global workforce.

The School of Business’ Computer Science program offers three concentrations: Cybersecurity, Data Science and Application Development. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science will select at least one concentration. Students also can take courses from the other concentrations as electives.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, “Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

Cybersecurity will also see growth. According to U.S. Department of Labor, the projected growth rate of cybersecurity jobs in Kansas is 38.7% from 2020 to 2030.

“Working closely with member information and health care claims, we go above and beyond when it comes to cybersecurity, making sure every step is taken to ensure the privacy and protection of our patient health information that is entrusted to us,” said Marcus Smith (CIS, 2000), team lead at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

“As an ESU technology alum, I am excited to hear that Emporia State is investing in one of the world’s fastest growing fields. Ensuring a continuous flow of well-trained graduates will help companies like ours hire only the best in computer science and cybersecurity.”

ESU’s reinvestment follows a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for a new Cybersecurity Center. Plans for the new center include benefits for both Emporia State students and the Emporia community. Funds from the federal grant will purchase technology equipment. In addition, Emporia State University is spending an estimated $200,000 to build out the center and the required HVAC system.

“The center will be used to host courses for cybersecurity concentrations, offer certifications in cybersecurity, support training programs for local businesses, conduct outreach programs and offer certification courses for non-majors and individuals otherwise not enrolled at ESU,” said Hossain.

“Emporia State’s new Cybersecurity Center and enhanced computer science curriculum will offer our students the education needed to succeed in expanding technology fields,” said Ken Hush, Emporia State president. “At the same time, through the Cybersecurity Center, we can enhance economic development via sharing our expertise with the Emporia community and help support local businesses.”