YPSILANTI – Recent Eastern Michigan University graduate Kyle Schuette has been awarded a $22,000 graduate degree scholarship to study cybersecurity at a nationally renowned institute, one of only 100 honorees in the country and just five in Michigan.
Schuette, a military veteran, graduated from Eastern in April 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense from the College of Engineering and Technology.
While at Eastern, he was a member of the Information Assurance Student Association and participated in several EMU student cyber defense competitions. He was also active in veterans’ activities at Eastern. After graduation, he’s worked in the field, including a stint at Nuspire Networks as an analyst.
Schuette notes the wide variety of classes he enjoyed at Eastern’s Information Assurance Program, ranging from programming to network administration.
“The labs were very good, and allowed practical application of the coursework, “Schuette says. “I appreciated that the focus wasn't always on technical skills, but included opportunities to improve soft skills.”
U.S. Cyber FastTrack is a nationwide competition that provides high-aptitude students with the practical cybersecurity training that employers demand. In the six months since the 2019 competition began in April, finalists such as Schuette outperformed more than 13,000 other candidates. Across the nation, the 100 program finalists represent 63 colleges in 28 states.
A fast growing field with high demand
“Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field, where the demand for skilled workers surpasses the current supply,” said Alan Paller, president of the SANS Technology Institute, which sponsors the competition, “These winners will set a new, high bar for candidates for entry-level positions and demonstrate to employers that Cyber FastTrack graduates are among the best prepared and most effective new cybersecurity employees.”
The scholarship recipients are expected to complete three advanced immersion courses in the SANS Applied Cybersecurity Program, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Upon completion of the program, students will be introduced to select cyber employers for internships and employment.
The aim of SANS Applied Cybersecurity is to prepare students with the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed to launch a rewarding career in cybersecurity. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels and range in age from 18 to 63. A quarter of the finalists are women and one-eighth are minorities.
The Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance & Cyber Defense program at Eastern prepares prospective students with the knowledge and skill set necessary for future computing and cyber security professionals to build, maintain and protect networks and computer systems in both government and industry.
The program has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense education.
About SANS Institute
The SANS Technology Institute is a regionally accredited college that offers Master’s Degrees in Cybersecurity as well as the Applied Cybersecurity Certificate. SANS was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today it is the world’s largest provider of cybersecurity education, training, and certification for professionals in government, commercial, and not-for-profit institutions. For more information, visit the SANS website.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.