Understanding Student Perspective of Undergraduate Cybersecurity Programs and Experiences Across Christian Colleges and Universities
Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)
Gary J. Bredfeldt
cybersecurity, development, curriculum, undergraduate, education
Computer Sciences | Higher Education
Grech, Brandon P., "Understanding Student Perspective of Undergraduate Cybersecurity Programs and Experiences Across Christian Colleges and Universities" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3419.
The number of Christian colleges and universities that are offering cybersecurity four-year degrees is rising. The workforce is in dire need of cybersecurity professionals; however, has anybody asked the new cybersecurity professionals in the workforce how their recent academic experience prepared them for such a global need? Research is well-documented about what industry currently needs in cybersecurity professionals; however, this research focused on asking graduates what students need for the workforce. The purpose of this explorative qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the phenomena of the holistic experience (technical, nontechnical, and whole-person) strengths and shortcomings (if any) recent cybersecurity graduates who are now in the workforce experienced at various Christian colleges and universities during their undergraduate education. The population of this research was recent graduates of Christian undergraduate cybersecurity programs that are currently in the cybersecurity workforce. The gap that drove this study was the need to learn how current cybersecurity programs have influenced and molded students for the workforce and allow Christian cybersecurity program leaders to utilize this research and optimize the experience their students have at their institution. The theory which guided this exploratory research was academic outcomes assessment theory in which student opinions are sought to identify the satisfaction relationship their technical, nontechnical, and whole-person development in their Christian undergraduate program as preparation for real-world application. This qualitative, exploratory, phenomenological research identified Christian undergraduate program strengths and gaps, such as an overwhelming trend of recent cybersecurity graduates that are not fully satisfied with their technical development.