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Lander University’s First Group of Cybersecurity Majors Graduate

cybersecurity graduates

Four students graduated from Lander University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity. The graduates celebrated their academic accomplishments during the University’s 169th commencement exercises held May 1 in Finis Horne Arena. From left are Rhys Peterson, of Glen Allen, Virginia; Troy Gilbert, of Anderson; Noah Manske, of Greenwood; and Drew Misocky, of Greenwood. Photo by Lindsey Hodges.

As people become more and more reliant on online systems, the need for people who protect those systems grows. Lander University is playing a part in that protection, as its first group of students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity graduated on May 1. 

Dr. Farha Ali, associate professor of computing, said students who major in cybersecurity begin by learning programming, scripting, networking and computer system administration. They then learn about digital forensics and network forensics, learning how to know when hackers can exploit systems, and how to find and remedy those issues. They also learn about cybersecurity management – the compliance and policy side of things.

Students also choose one of two paths of emphasis. One is a computer information system emphasis, where they are trained on the technical side of cybersecurity, which is good for students who want to be penetration testers or develop programs. The other emphasis is in political science, focusing more on compliance and laws.

Ali said every time a new computer or device connects to a system, there’s a possibility of exploitation. Computers are part of people’s everyday life, she said, and someone needs to be able to keep innocent people protected and be able to find and stop malicious actors.

The four students who graduated have all noticed the growing role computer systems play in people’s lives.

Troy Gilbert, of Anderson, focused more on policy, law and psychology classes while at Lander. He said “It’s not always about managing systems and protecting just computers and servers and stuff, you also have to protect your people and educate your people.”

“I chose to major in cybersecurity because I was a networking major - and that was pretty interesting - but cybersecurity and networking go hand-in-hand. With breaches every day and that kind of thing, I feel like cybersecurity is definitely the future. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of job growth. There are jobs out there that don’t even exist today but in the future they will,” said Gilbert.

Drew Misocky, of Greenwood, said he majored in cybersecurity because he’s always been good with computers and saw that cybersecurity was a growing field.

“It’s such a big field, you can go to any company and they have information systems that need to be secured, so it opens the door up to a lot of different career paths and a lot of opportunities to I think it’s good that they’re offering it at Lander,” he said.

To learn more about the Cybersecurity program at Lander, visit for information about the computer information systems emphasis or for information about the political science emphasis.