Auburn University has earned top ranks when it comes to cyber security.
The National Security Agency, or NSA has designated AU as one of four universities as a national Center for Academic Excellence in cyber operations.
"We have been identified by what I call the crown jewel for cyber work inside the United States," says retired Lieutenant General Ron Burgess, senior counsel for national security programs, cyber programs and military affairs at Auburn. "It means Auburn's work, their rigor, their attention to detail in putting forth a program, has been recognized by the people who do this work at the very pinnacle of the workspace."
The program, now with a total of eight schools, complements more than 100 existing Centers of Academic Excellence in research and information assurance education, overseen by both NSA and the Department of Homeland Security.
"You want to prepare students in this case we call it workforce development," explains Lt. Gen. Burgess. "We also call it research or outreach in terms of preparing the college student to find themselves in this new domain or be park of the cyber workforce or just how you live your day-to-day life in terms of this new world that we live in."
The program recognizes institutions that have a technical curriculum centered on fields such as computer science and electrical engineering.
AU students have a unique opportunity through this program. Graduates will be able to use this expertise to pursue a number of different careers.
"If you think about day-to-day life in these Unites States, everything that you touch works in the cyber realm, whether it be the electrical power grid, whether it be transportation systems, you name it cyber is a part of it," says Lt. Gen. Burgess.
Universities joining Auburn in this recognition include Carnegie Mellon University, Mississippi State University and the Air Force Institute of Technology.