Abstract: The importance of updating, expanding and improving what is taught in cybersecurity curricula is increasing as the security threat landscape becomes more dangerous, breaches become more frequent, and the number of deployed Internet of Things (IoT) devices, known for their security challenges, grows exponentially. This paper argues that a profile of “T-shaped” skills, which is known to be desirable in many consulting and design professions, is being reflected in the latest manifestations of cybersecurity curriculum design and accreditation. A model of learning that yields “T-shaped” professionals combines the ability to apply knowledge across domains (breadth) with the ability to apply functional and disciplinary skills (depth). We present the design of a junior- or senior-level cybersecurity course in which the horizontal stroke of the “T” (representing breadth) spans knowledge areas that cut across the people, process and technology triad. The vertical stroke of the “T” (representing depth) is provided by two aspects of the course design: first, learning the foundational principles of cybersecurity, including practical examples from cryptography and network security; and second, applying the principles of cybersecurity to a semester project, allowing students to expand the core “T” of the course to satisfy their own passions and interests. Our paper concludes with student and instructor reflections on the implementation of this cybersecurity course, as well as broader implications of the lessons learned after the initial offering of this course.
Keywords: cybersecurity course design, Cybersecurity curricula, cybersecurity education, Knowledge Areas, security accreditation, T-shaped knowledge and skills
Download this article: ISEDJ - V17 N6 Page 41.pdf
Recommended Citation: Yates, D., Frydenberg, M., Waguespack, L., McDermott, I., OConnell, J., Chen, F., Babb, J. S. (2019). Dotting i’s and Crossing T’s: Integrating Breadth and Depth in an Undergraduate Cybersecurity Course. Information Systems Education Journal, 17(6) pp 41-62. http://isedj.org/2019-17/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2018)