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Broader Curriculums
More security pros are packing their book bags and as a result there is a noticeable increase in academic programs to meet that demand. Many offer continuing education in information assurance with core requirements or electives that gravitate toward business skills.

Carnegie Mellon University's Information Networking Institute (INI) offers graduate degrees in information secu- rity technology and management. Business management courses in risk analysis and management, along with electives in privacy,

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complement traditional technology courses. The SANS Institute has been licensed in the state of Mary-land to confer graduate degrees in information security engineering and management. The NSA's National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance are 75 accredited schools in 32 states offering the same mix of business and technology training. Even (ISC)2, keeper of the CISSP certification, has recognized the trend and added sessions for security pros on presenting to the board and sharpening communication skills, "the softer skills," according to Dr. Corey Schou, (ISC)2 board of directors vice chairman.

"Traditional computer science and engineering students have no business acumen and policy insight," says Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI director. "Our students are sought after by companies. They're foremost engineers with sound technical foundations--and business and policy skills."

Arguably the biggest drivers are government and industry regulations. CEOs don't see the merits of incarceration, and have funded compliance programs to ensure controls are in place to safeguard customer and corporate data. Techies with audit or Six Sigma skills are prime targets for six-figure salaries as a CISO or chief risk officer.

"What we're finding is companies asking for program managers and people who can tie together disparate security aspects of a company's business units, manage the entire function and present that package to the board or senior executives," says Joyce Brocaglia, CEO of Alta Associates, an executive recruitment firm specializing in information security.

This was first published in September 2006

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