Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. SAU Tech's Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Cybersecurity is designed to focus on the necessary skills required to secure, protect, and identify vulnerabilities in a network, including various operating systems and network devices. Emphasis is placed on developing the theoretical, legal, ethical, and practical skills needed to maintain security on mission-critical networking and server systems. Cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes.

Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative. The Cybersecurity program also focuses on the skills needed for internationally recognized IT certifications and high demands in business, industry, and government.  The program is designed to meet the training needs of government and industry employees and uses a cyber range lab for hands-on training. The program covers a variety of information security technologies and structured languages. The program prepares entry-level computer technicians with cybersecurity expertise and offers transfer options to four-year institutions.

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Cyber Range Lab

A cyber range is a virtual environment that organizations can use for cyber warfare training and software development. These complex IT environments allow companies to practice handling specific real-world scenarios on the latest threats, and they are essential for combating modern cybercrime. Cyber ranges are being actively used by the military and government agencies, private corporations (software development and in cybersecurity), and other private entities with a focus on cybersecurity.

SAU Tech, in collaboration with CyberBit, is offering a cyber range virtual lab facility beginning the Fall semester for its students. The virtual world of Cyber range will help to understand the techniques to countermeasure cyber world threats. SAU Tech is among a few two-year schools providing this opportunity to its students in the state of Arkansas. Students enrolled in an Associate degree in Cybersecurity will have an opportunity to experience real-world scenarios via this lab which will prepare them for industry standards challenges.

Make Cybersecurity a Career Focus!

Career opportunities include network security engineer, information security analyst, network security specialist, network security administrator, network security architect, and systems engineer. Check out the links below for more information about Cyber-related careers and careers in Arkansas.

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    Choosing the perfect school for you is key. For many, costs are a concern. Even if they are not, finding a way to save on tuition can be worthwhile. There are many ways to pay for school. Some students may take out student loans. Both private and public funding is available. Other students may wish to use federal student aid. Some students may qualify for grants. Scholarships are another option. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

    From being a senior in high school, students should look into available scholarships. If you are studying computer and info science, cyber security, or related fields, there are options available. Scholarships are available from many schools. This is the first step for many people. Then, look to third parties. Some corporations offer scholarships. The Dept. of Homeland Security, DHS, may offer an option. Some students may qualify for a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) scholarship.

    Students should apply for scholarships soon. Often, there are limited offers available. Students may need to apply each semester. Here is a look at the available scholarships for colleges in Arkansas for cyber security degrees.

    Arkansas High Tech Scholarship Program

    This scholarship provides students with $2,000, up to $500 per year. It is available to many students who plan to study the tech field. It aims to encourage more people to pursue this area. This program has many requirements. Students must graduate from an AR high school. They must plan to enroll full-time in a high-tech program. Cyber security qualifies. They must plan to attend a post-secondary school in AR. In addition, students need to maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher. They also look at ACT scores and SAT scores. ACT scores must be 19 or higher. SAT scores must be 730 or higher.

    To apply, students need to complete an online app. Transcripts are a must. A personal statement is also a must. Students may need to write an essay. The Arkansas High Tech Scholarship is competitive.

    Department of Defense SMART Scholarship

    The Dept. of Defense SMART Scholarship is a common option for cyber security students. This scholarship is for students in STEM fields. Cyber security is one of them. If a student qualifies for this scholarship, they may receive substantial benefits. That includes the cost of tuition, health insurance, and books. It may also cover stipends and other needs. This program also provides a summer internship. Students must agree to the internship to apply.

    This scholarship is one of the most competitive. It is open to undergrad and grad students. The goal is to fill key positions in the DHS and Dept. of Defense with students. At graduation, students can then work in civilian roles.

    To qualify, students need to be at least 18. They must be currently enrolled in an accredited school. The school must have a STEM program. Students need to provide ACT and SAT scores. They also need to provide GRE scores for the grade level. They need to submit personal statements. These should show their leadership and teamwork skills. Also, outline volunteer work. Provide insight on professional career goals. This option is very hard to get. It can be well worth the work.

    Women’s Cyber Security Scholarship

    The Centers for Cyber Safety and Education offers an ISC Scholarship. This program aims to encourage women to embrace tech degrees. The goal is to help to reduce the financial burden education can have on some people. This scholarship offer is available to women who are undergrad students. Each year, this org offers 20 of these scholarships to students. It can provide up to $5,000 for students.

    To apply, students need to have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. They must be pursuing a cyber security degree. Info assurance degrees may qualify as well. They must be studying either part-time or full-time. They also need to be enrolled in a post-secondary school.

    Applicants need to post their transcripts. They must complete an online app. A letter of recommendation is a must. They also need a resume. An application essay is required. The topic changes often.

    Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship

    The Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship is another option. It is for women. To apply, students should be working towards a degree in comp sci. Other tech programs, such as engineering, may also apply. Each year, the program provides students with up to $7,000. The funds can be used for all types of tuition and schooling needs. This scholarship is for undergrads.

    Students need to complete an online app. They need to submit info on their transcript. Resumes are important. Students also need to show their career path. They need to complete an essay. Personal statements are necessary as well.

    AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship

    The AFCEA provides numerous grants. One of them is a STEM scholarship for undergrads. The Cyber Security Scholarship from AFCEA is aimed at helping those interested in pursuing a degree in cyber security. It is available to those who are undergrad students. The funds have to be used towards tuition or other school-related expenses. Students need to demonstrate their plans for college. This scholarship offers up to $5,000.

    To be eligible, students must have a 3.0 GPA. They must be at least second-year students, they need to be attending a four-year college. They also have to choose an eligible cyber security major. Students need to supply all transcripts. They need to provide two letters of recommendation. The app also requires answers to a series of questions. The app is available online to complete.

    Infosec Cyber Security Scholarship Program

    The Infosec Cyber Security Scholarship Program is for those who are studying in this field. The org wants to make it easier for people to enter this field. They want to encourage people to embrace this field with more affordability. The amount awarded differs yearly. Both grad and undergrad students can apply. This offer is done in a partnership with the Computer Technology Industry Association. They offer 12 scholarships each year.

    The app process is somewhat long. Students need to provide transcripts. A resume or CV is a must. Students also need to provide letters of recommendation. A personal statement with career goals outlined is also a must. Students also need to provide an essay based on questions asked in some cases.


    Meet Your Faculty!


    Divesh Acharya, Instructor & Program Advisor
    Instructor Bio

    Read "Ask the Expert" with Divesh Acharya,
    SAU Tech's lead faculty for CIT and Cybersecurity.
    Ask the Expert