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IT security specialization introduced to BS in Information Technology degree program
03-3-14

Misericordia University has added an information technology security specialization option to its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program that is designed to help companies keep data safe and prevent information technology security breaches, such as those that have plagued numerous national companies.

The new specialization is available to traditional students earning a bachelor’s degree and for adult learners taking classes online through the university’s Expressway Accelerated Degree Program.
 
“With so much concern today on the security of personal data, there is a great need for people who can assess security issues and provide the hardware and software needed to secure a company’s valuable data,” says Dr. Patricia Lapczynski, RSM, associate professor and program director of computer science and information technology at Misericordia University. “This is an emerging career field that addresses concerns companies around the world are facing concerning viruses, hacking and privacy. We need people who can assess a firm’s IT infrastructure and strengthen its ability to withstand breaches and threats.”
 
The redesigned information technology program at Misericordia University features a primary bachelor’s degree program in information technology that offers the core competencies such as programming, hardware, operating system architecture, web design, security and networking.
 
Students can now select the new security specialization, which builds on those core competencies and adds specialized courses on management and risk assessment, cryptography, physical security, disaster recovery, and trends in current issues in computer security.
 
Traditional students can also major in computer science which offers the
same competencies as information technology plus courses such as designing games, Internet programming, and creating smart phone applications.
 
The major goes beyond basic programming to include project implementation and helps students learn how to select, create, apply, integrate and administer technology in an organization, Sister Lapczynski explains. 
 
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook projects that employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. “The federal government is expected to greatly increase its use of information security analysts to protect the nation’s critical information technology (IT) systems,” Dr. Lapczynski, RSM, said. “In addition, as the health care industry expands its use of electronic medical records, ensuring patients’ privacy and protecting personal data are becoming more important. More information security analysts are likely to be needed to create the safeguards that will satisfy patients’ concerns.”
 
For more information about the Misericordia University Information Technology Program, please log on to www.misericordia.edu or contact Dr. Lapczynski, RSM, at (570) 674-6367. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Colleges and was designated a 2014 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.