Infosec education needs revamping, professor warns
- By Dan Verton
- Aug 14, 2000
A report to be published this year by one of the nation's top educators
in information systems and security warns that the current system of higher
education cannot support the demand for information assurance professionals
and calls for a revolutionary change in the way the government, academia
and industry cooperate.
"The present national need for an immediate increase in the development
of information assurance professionals at all levels cannot be met within
the existing educational structure," said professor Corey Schou, chairman
of the National Colloquium on Information Systems Security Education and
associate dean of Information Systems at Idaho State University.
In his report, "Meeting the Information Assurance Crisis Now," Schou
recommends a nine-point cooperative plan between government, industry and academia that he says has the potential to generate
up to 100 doctoral candidates, 200 to 500 master's degree students and 5,000
bachelor's degree students annually with an emphasis in information assurance.
Government plays a key role in assisting educators to produce a steady
pipeline of well-educated information security professionals, according
to Schou. He has urged government to establish a competitive grant process
covering "grand challenge" problems in information assurance, selective
internships that would provide students and faculty with practical experience,
government/academic staff exchanges and even a program that would forgive
student loans for graduate students at the master's and doctoral degree
level, among other things.
Schou also called for improved training resources for university faculty
members across the country and even suggested that government should help
establish a distance-learning program in information assurance and the ethical
use of information targeted at elementary and secondary education teachers.
"Failure to respond proactively to a similar need a decade ago has contributed
to the current national shortage of information technology professionals,"
Schou said. "Without external stimulus and support, there is no way the
educational system can meet the demand in the foreseeable future."