BSIT in Cybersecurity
What Is a BS in Information Technology Focused in Cybersecurity?
The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program from GCU prepares students for careers working with computer-based information systems. Graduates work with software application and computer hardware to study, design, develop and support how information is shared, saved and used in an organization. Students interested in user and data security can earn an emphasis in cybersecurity. Learning skills in both IT and cybersecurity allows GCU grads from this program to support and design systems that are safe from cyberattacks.
BSIT for Cybersecurity course topics include:
- Cloud computing
- Planning and implementation of IT systems
- Information technology project management
- Object-related databases
- Virtual enterprise and datacenter infrastructure
- Computer security, ethical hacking and cyber forensics investigations
If you have worked in law enforcement or are a military veteran, this degree may be appealing to you. You already have the mindset to search for potential threats and you may already have government clearance that may assist you in gaining employment opportunities upon graduation. Any student entering this IT with an emphasis in cybersecurity degree program should be comfortable with basic algebra skills. They should also know how to proficiently use common desktop computer applications.
The BS in IT with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree at GCU is offered both on campus and online.
What You Will Learn in GCU's BSIT in Cybersecurity Degree
This BSIT program with a cybersecurity emphasis from GCU ensures that graduates understand how cyber defense, cyber operations, and cyber law are interrelated. They learn processes and goals in cyber forensics and acquire practical application in developing plans for security architectures. Cybersecurity graduates learn to problem solve using technology and computer programming. Applied, hands-on activities ensure students have the proper training to excel in the cybersecurity workforce.
The on-campus and online BSIT degree with cybersecurity emphasis offers courses focused on:
- Cyber operations planning and execution
- Cyber law
- Digital forensic investigations
- Security architecture
- Information assurance
- Secure system administration
The bachelor's degree in information technology and cybersecurity coursework ends with a security capstone IT project. Students demonstrate practical knowledge as well as develop technical writing and business presentation skills. The capstone is completed as a team and includes:
- Developing a project proposal
- Conducting a feasibility study
- Protecting intellectual property
- Creating a project budget and schedule
Benefits of BS in Information Technology With Cybersecurity
Grand Canyon University's bachelor’s degree in information technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity prepares graduates to confidently work in the growing information technology field. The benefits of this degree program include learning in-depth practices in both IT and cybersecurity, meaning many more jobs may be unlocked for you. The IT portion of the degree program emphasizes not only the technology, but the business aspects of IT work. The IT bachelor’s with an emphasis in cybersecurity program focuses on some of the core competencies of IT-driven business, software technology and tools, enterprise information systems and cybersecurity. Graduates learn:
- Ways IT can improve business performance
- Steps to take to boost organizational efficiency
- Practices that reduce costs of enterprise systems
- Skills to apply technology solutions
- Usage of local and cloud-based programs to enhance the deployment, configuration and management of technologies
Those pursuing this degree receive a well-rounded experience in both cybersecurity and IT. BSIT coursework is made up of both lectures and labs to ensure that theoretical knowledge guides practice application. Some areas of study include:
- Platform technologies
- Information assurance
- IT security and management
- Programming fundamentals
- Cloud computing
- Web systems and technologies
- Professional and ethical practices in IT
Students may also take part in the Cyber Center of Excellence, a learning environment led by industry-expert faculty that develops skills and knowledge in cybersecurity through research, exercises and hands-on training.
Careers With a BS in Information Technology With Cybersecurity
Graduates from the GCU Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program are well-equipped to pursue a career in information systems. Students who complete this BS may find work as:
- Information security analysts
- Computer systems analysts
- Computer network architects
- Database architects
- Computer and information systems managers
- Software quality assurance analysts and testers
- Data scientists
With the emphasis in cybersecurity, you can also seek a career as an information security analyst. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for information security analysts is on track to grow by an estimated 31% from 2019 to 2029, accounting for an estimated increase of 40,900 jobs in the field.1
If you are passionate about technology and want to make a difference in how data is stored and shared in an organization, an on-campus or online BSIT degree in cybersecurity could be the perfect match for you.
BSIT in Cybersecurity Degree Frequently Asked Questions
Most cybersecurity jobs require a four-year bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field such as information technology (IT) or computer science. To specialize in the cybersecurity field, or to pursue a higher-level position, a master’s degree is recommended. A few graduate degree options include an MBA in Cybersecurity, an MS in Cybersecurity or an MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity.
For those who are looking to get into the cybersecurity field but are unable to commit to a full bachelor’s degree program, consider earning an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity. This certificate program provides foundational knowledge and skills to help prepare students for an entry-level cybersecurity career.
There are many different types of careers in the information technology field. One great career option that combines IT and cybersecurity is an information security analyst. As of May 2020, information security analysts have a median annual wage of $103,590.2
Full-time students in the BSIT cybersecurity program can typically complete their degree in four years. This program requires 120 credits to completion and the on-campus courses generally take 15 weeks to complete. If you are participating in the online BSIT cybersecurity program, the courses are generally seven weeks long.
1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on 2019, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Security Analysts
2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Information Security Analysts as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as Information Security Analysts. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
This course provides an introduction to the role of computing technology within business and corporate environments. Introductions to concepts, terminologies, and a wide use of relevant daily software and tools relevant to any career in the information technology field. Topics include: Technology-integrated academics, digital networking concepts, systems administration and maintenance, information security, database and transactional systems, cloud technologies, scripting, and project management. Prerequisite: MAT-154 or MAT-261.
This course exposes students to the fundamentals of networks and networking in IT. It then builds deeper understanding of how networks work, including the topics of LANs, WANs, service providers, packets, hubs, routers, switches, and Internet protocols. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on setting up and configuring local and enterprise networks, experimenting with various topologies, and scalability planning with routers and switches. Prerequisite: CST-111 or ITT-111 or CST-105 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
This course introduces students to system administration and maintenance as well as platform technologies. The course surveys operating systems, applications, administrative activities and domains, computer architecture and organization, and computing infrastructures. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on developing practical skills in configuring computer systems, deploying enterprise applications, managing user permissions, and remote administration. Prerequisite: ITT-116.
This course focuses on advanced router and switch configuration for use in large and enterprise networks. Topics include dynamic routing, network security and access control, network address translation, wide area network implementations, virtualization, management, design, troubleshooting and automation. Implementation and troubleshooting of advanced routing technologies and services including Layer 3 VPN, Infrastructure security, and infrastructure services. Prerequisite: ITT-116.
This course builds upon knowledge already acquired in the areas of system architecture and operating systems and focuses on the core issues of information security. Students learn fundamental concepts of information security including data encryption, security awareness, legal and ethical issues, operational issues, security policies, and attack types; while expanding on the coverage to include security domains, forensics, security services, threat analysis, and vulnerabilities assessments. Prerequisite: ITT-120, or ITT-121 or CST-125 or CST-126 or CST-220 or CST-221 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
This course examines the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of relational database structures. Emphasis is on appropriate application and implementation. Prerequisite: BIT-200 or BIT-205 or CST-110, or CST-111 or CST-105 or ITT-111.
This course is focused on Linux server administration and maintenance within a corporate networking context. In addition to server installation, students will learn configuration and troubleshooting along with a variety of command-line and Graphical User Interface utilities and applications. Prerequisite: ITT-121.
This course merges the advanced corporate infrastructure skills with emerging technologies that streamline how computing and network resources are accessed and utilized. Concepts in this course include wireless and mobile networking, telephone, Internet of Things (IOT), and the infrastructures required to build and maintain elastic systems and communications availability. Prerequisite: ITT-216.
This course covers mathematical models for computer security. It analyzes and compares the properties of various models for hardware, software, and database security. The course examines how system designs, network protocols, and software engineering practices can result in vulnerabilities. Students learn to design, evaluate, ethically hack, and implement adequate security measures that can safeguard sensitive information. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
This course is focused on enterprise cloud computing solutions, including migrations strategies for applications, strategies, workflows, and systems. Students develop the skills necessary to analyze, recommend, and implement multiple-vendor cloud solutions. Prerequisite: ITT-221.
This course examines information technology project management. Topics include the reasons why IT projects fail, the business cost of IT failure, managing IT teams, outsourcing, virtual teams, scope definition, project scheduling, risk mitigation, and leading successful projects. Additional topics focus on using project management to build an analytics organization. Prerequisite: BIT-200, BIT-205, CST-111 or ITT-111.
This course covers the design, management, and maintenance of virtual enterprise and datacenter infrastructure. Students learn to use appropriate tools such as request tracking, monitoring, configuration management, virtualization, and scripting to administer and defend systems using documented, repeatable processes. Emphasis will be placed on volume management, directory services, and network-based authentication and file systems. Students develop automatic procedures for installations and file distribution. Prerequisites: MAT-154 and ITT-307.
This course covers the processes and goals of cyber forensics investigations. Hands-on activities include using multiple reporting systems to initiate and provide on-going support for information security investigations relating to data privacy, incident management, data loss prevention, and digital forensics. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
This course covers the characteristics of object-relational and NoSQL databases and their application in business. The course also focuses on the main principles of object-oriented, object-relational, and NoSQL databases, and their relative advantages. Students gain working knowledge of object-relational features as implemented in standard SQL database management systems. Students also learn to manage unstructured and semi-structured data with XML. Prerequisite: SYM-400.
In this course, students apply the knowledge and skills used in previous courses to develop an IT Project proposal required for new innovative process. The course builds on the knowledge gathered during student’s journey through IT program. It gives them the ability to work on an emerging IT project while gathering very practical experience. This involves critiquing the current scope of IT and use a practical research approach to construct the project proposal. The students will be required to develop project components such as vision, budget, risk management, and timeline. Project teams will be assigned and throughout the semester, these teams present ideas to both peers and the instructor, who provide feedback and insight into what it takes build a successful project. Students will be required to work on a complex and real-life problem related to IT studies. In doing so, the Capstone makes the link between the academic discourse and the world thereafter. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ITT-430 or ITT-415.
This course covers strategies and plans for development and operation of the Security Operations Center (SOC). Students gain the knowledge and skills to use technologies to detect and prevent network intrusion and implement cybersecurity countermeasures. Prerequisites: ITT-340 and ITT-375.
This course provides an insight into professional communications and conduct associated with careers in science, engineering and technology. Students learn about the changing modes of communication in these disciplines recognizing the advances in digital communications. They gain practical experience developing and supporting a thesis or position through written, oral, and visual presentations prepared and delivered individually and in groups. Students will explore concepts and issues in professional ethics and conduct such as privacy, discrimination, workplace etiquette, cyber-ethics, network and data security, identity theft, ownership rights and intellectual property. This is a writing intensive course.
Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.