Ruben Mocuta Earns KSU's First Cybersecurity Degree

In a class by himself

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 21, 2019) — Ruben Mocuta acknowledges that he likes to work ahead.

Mocuta started college early as a high school student through dual enrollment classes, and said that during his time as a Kennesaw State student, he typically finished assignments a week or two ahead of schedule. Now, he has crossed the stage this month as the first graduate of KSU’s online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program.

“It’s awesome. It’s an honor to be the first,” Mocuta said.

Mocuta specifically chose Kennesaw State for its cybersecurity degree, the first of its kind in Georgia. He took heavy class loads each semester as well as summer courses to complete the degree requirements in two years.

“I really pushed myself each semester,” Mocuta said. “I have worked hard, so I’m glad to be able to accomplish this.”

Ruben Mocuta, first Kennesaw State cybersecurity graduate

During the spring semester, Mocuta interned in Home Depot’s Security Operations Center. They were so pleased with his work that beginning in June he will be working there as a security analyst/systems security engineer.

Mocuta credits KSU for preparing him well for his career, as he routinely applied what he learned in the cybersecurity program to work assignments he was given during his internship. He said he benefitted greatly from the technical focus of the program.

“I loved the flexibility of taking my classes online,” he said. “I would’ve come to Kennesaw State regardless, but having the convenience of an online program was what sold me 100 percent.”

Along with embarking on his first cybersecurity job, Mocuta plans to pursue a master’s degree in the near future. He also already is thinking about starting his own business someday. However, he said his strong faith is his biggest priority, and he feels “a huge calling to do mission work.”

“It would be awesome to impact the community – whether it is across the world or (my hometown of) Snellville, Georgia, or wherever I am – to make an impact and change people’s lives,” Mocuta said.

Start of Something Big

While Mocuta was the only graduate receiving his cybersecurity degree from Kennesaw State this spring, he will be followed by many more. The University offers two degrees in the field – the online bachelor of science, which is more focused on the technical aspects of cybersecurity, and the more managerial-focused Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Security and Assurance.

The online program has grown even faster than anticipated, according to Herb Mattord, interim chair of the Department of Information Systems and associate director of the Center for Information Security Education at Kennesaw State. He said that the number of declared cybersecurity majors increased from 48 in fall 2017 to 210 in fall 2018.

The bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity offers students a concentration in one of three tracks – systems security, network security or cybercrime. The growing B.S. in Cybersecurity program, combined with the more established BBA-ISA, is helping the Coles College of Business produce well-trained professionals in the rapidly growing cybersecurity field.

“We focus on the business operations aspects of security in both of our majors,” Mattord said. “We view the commercial sector as our primary objective, but we also place many of our graduates with state and federal agencies that have similar needs.”

Kennesaw State University is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Also, KSU earned the No. 1 spot in the 2019 Best Online Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degreesrankings by CyberDegree.org.

“I can’t tell enough people to come to KSU,” Mocuta said. “I have told all my friends, ‘Stop what you’re doing. Transfer schools to KSU.’”

– Paul Floeckher

Photos by Rob C. Witzel

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