Coles Cybersecurity Program Ranked 6th in the Nation for Vets

 Herb Mattford
Dr. Herb Mattford, Assistant Chair of the Department of Information Systems

Military Times Magazine Ranked Top 10 Programs

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 5, 2018) — Kennesaw State University has been recognized among the nation’s top schools for veterans and military students to pursue a cybersecurity degree, placing No. 6 in the “2018 Best for Vets: 10 Best Cybersecurity Programs” ranking by Military Times magazine.

Kennesaw State earned its high ranking from among more than 600 colleges and universities that were surveyed. Military Times evaluated information provided by schools as well as federal data from the Department of Education, Veterans Affairs Department and Defense Department.

Kennesaw State was recognized for having 2,265 veterans and military family members enrolled in 2016, the year used to compile the data, and for the University’s being accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.) and certified by the National Security Agency. Also, for every 1,000 degrees awarded by KSU in 2016, 93.87 were computer science degrees.

“This is an honor for Kennesaw State, and we take great pride in knowing we are striving to do our best for veterans,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This designation recognizes the hard work and dedication of the KSU community to help our nation’s veterans continue their education.”

One factor in Kennesaw State’s top-10 national ranking is the University’s long-term commitment to cybersecurity, according to Herb Mattord, assistant chair of KSU’s Department of Information Systems and associate professor of information security and assurance. Kennesaw State launched Georgia’s first Bachelor of Science in Information Security and Assurance in 2005, and last year began a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program.

“We have been teaching information security for quite a while,” Mattord said. “Not many schools have been at this as long as we have, and program maturity is a factor.”

Kennesaw State's cybersecurity degree is offered 100 percent online, making it conducive to veterans' schedules. In fact, “students have attended class from the Middle East while on deployment,” said information security and assurance professor Michael Whitman, an Army veteran himself.

In an interview with Military Times, Mattord said that student veterans often do well in his classes. He surmised that could stem from their familiarity with a hierarchical structure, phase of life and general understanding that security is an important concept.

“They will have been regimented to some degree by their experiences and probably have more of an eventual fit with the career requirement of a security-related job,” Mattord said.

Kennesaw State has been recognized by Military Times before, in its annual Best College for Vets rankings. Also, KSU previously has been designated a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine and in 2016 was the first University System of Georgia institution to be named a “Purple Heart Designated University” by The Military Order of the Purple Heart, recognizing Kennesaw State for “its outstanding service to military and veteran students and families.”

– Paul Floeckher