With a view to meet the shortfall in trained and skilled cybersecurity personnel in the country, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has decided to introduce three new master's programs in cybersecurity in addition to a dedicated centre for the discipline. These programs are designed to address the need of cybersecurity personnel by ensuring training of dedicated and highly skilled manpower, thus furthering and accelerating the nation’s march towards a Digital India, an official statement by the institute said.
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), IIT-K would offer the three courses--M Tech, MS by Research, and BT-MT Dual Degree in Cybersecurity--from August 2021, it said.
The programs would start with a limited number of seats with plans to gradually scale up in size and scope, IIT-K director Abhay Karandikar said.
Admissions for the courses will commence during the April-May 2021 cycle, he said.
The M Tech program in cybersecurity will equip students with skills necessary to be successful in roles such as VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing) engineers, security centre analysts, CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) engineers, cybersecurity tool developers and other roles that involve protecting systems against the threat of attacks by malicious actors, the statement said.
The MS by Research program is designed to train cybersecurity researchers, technology developers, cybersecurity strategists and top-level cybersecurity policy designers. An option for BT-MT dual degree students is proposed that will enable them to specialise in cybersecurity, it said.
The initial intake to the M Tech program in cybersecurity will be limited to 15 students through GATE/industry sponsorship, and 10 students from defence and other strategic government bodies, to address the need in beefing up the cybersecurity and cyber-defence workforce in the government.
The MS by Research in cybersecurity program will accept 10 students through GATE and industry sponsorship, and five students from defence and other government agencies, it said.
The BT-MT dual program is only open to IIT-Kanpur Computer Science and Engineering B Tech students who want to opt for a B Tech-M Tech dual degree by completing additional credits to earn a master's degree. These numbers include the necessary percentage of reserved seats from various reserved categories as per the extant laws.
“We have timed these master’s programs to ensure that we start producing cyber warriors of the future who can defend not only national boundaries but also make a mark internationally,” the IIT-K director said.
With a corresponding increasing demand from companies looking to hire cybersecurity professionals, the gap in the availability of skilled cybersecurity professionals has widened and these courses are a beginning, albeit small, in meeting the demand and filling this gap, the statement added.