The NSA selects 4 universities for Cyber Operations Program

first_imgIf you want to go and work for the NSA it’s going to take more than giving a good interview. The National Security Agency will carry out one of the most thorough background checks you will ever likely experience, and with good reason, as you are entering an organization focused on protecting the US from a cyber attack.But targeting individuals for employment is set to extend beyond the open market and hacking community for the NSA. There is apparently a major shortage of talent in the field of cyber operations that the NSA requires, so the agency is set to teach its own cyber-ops curriculum to a select few.You can see why the NSA feel the need to do this. It requires individuals who have the same skill set as the top hackers, but with a clean record and computer-focused, degree-level education. Going direct to universities and hand-picking students to teach them the required additional skills pretty much guarantees NSA-ready candidates.When the NSA stated it was going to hand-pick who to teach, the agency was totally serious. 20 universities originally signed up for the chance to become Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, but they have been whittled down to just 4 that qualify:Dakota State UniversityNaval Postgraduate SchoolNortheastern UniversityUniversity of TulsaMost of the universities failed to meet the strict requirements because they did not teach all 10 required subjects the NSA needed on top of their own curriculum. In fact, hardly any of the institutions teach reverse engineering or focus on cellular and mobile tech.As to what students at those four qualifying universities will be subjected to as part of the cyber-ops curriculum, senior NSA official Steven LaFountain, describes it simply as “the hardcore fundamental science.” If they have that knowledge coming out of university, they can better perform on the NSA’s own 12-month internal “secret sauce, tradecraft” education that turns them into a fully-fledged cyber operative.Any student signing up for cyber-ops training can expect summer classes, a ton of new computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering skills, and the chance for a very rewarding job at the end of it all.Read more at the NSA and Reuterslast_img read more