Newswise — The need for jobs that focus on cyber security is more apparent than ever, especially in the aftermath of Heartbleed, the recently uncovered Internet bug.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Professor Eduardo Garcia says information security analyst jobs are expected to grow faster than average, at nearly 40 percent between 2012 and 2022.

"I continually see different kinds of job opportunities opening up. I spend a great deal of time looking at (them) on a daily basis. I study job descriptions (and) I use this information to facilitate my discussions with students to let them know exactly the kind of opportunities opening up out there," he said.

There is an obligation to ensure that information remains secure and that it is not used for ill purposes by a motivated third party, says Garcia.

Garcia, a professional instructor in the Department of Criminal Justice, teaches students pursuing either a minor or certificate in Information Assurance Education at UALR.

The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and capacity to implement information security and to solve information assurance problems. The program goals are to heighten awareness of information assurance in the academic community, prepare graduates who are capable of evaluating information assurance situations, and contribute to finding appropriate solutions to information assurance problems.

The program also benefits those who want to supplement their educations with knowledge of how to evaluate and improve the security of data from both technical and social perspectives. Innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information will be vital moving forward.

"There is a ... shortage of professionals in information security and cyber environments. There are many, many more jobs being created in government, in private sector services, in retail environments, and if we don't do something serious about it in higher education, we're going to have difficulty filling slots," says Garcia.

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