Cyber Engineering Program | Houston Cybersecurity

About Cyber Engineering

A bachelor’s degree in cyber engineering  offers cutting-edge skills for a rapidly changing field.

A Bachelor of Science in Cyber Engineering at Houston Christian University will prepare you for high-demand jobs in technology and cyberspace that will only continue to increase in the years ahead. Cyber engineers use skills in digital forensics, security policy and network defense to perform cybersecurity tasks, as well as work on engineering hardware and software. Cyber engineering majors also learn electrical engineering and computer science fundamentals to understand the emerging world of cyberspace, giving students much more comprehensive preparation than a bachelor of science in cybersecurity.  HCU’s College of Engineering offers programs and courses in all three areas — computer science, electrical engineering and cyber engineering — to provide in-depth study.

Every small, medium and large business is dealing with cybersecurity issues, and needs cybersecurity and cyber engineering professionals to prevent attacks and protect assets.

Cyber engineering has often been overlooked in addressing cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities in systems, networks and devices. The focus is often on cybersecurity for software/data/information components; but if hardware or devices are involved, the work of a cyber engineer is vital. And your HCU degree in cyber engineering will expand your skillset beyond what is offered through cybersecurity degrees at other schools.

Cyber engineers apply probability, statistics and cryptographic topics, along with specialized math and engineering topics, in order to analyze and design complex devices. Cyber engineers who design systems, and the information managers who monitor and protect the information, frequently work together to maintain the security of operations and business continuity. Cybersecurity threats to safe operation may come in the form of malware, ransomware, viruses or simply in the form of stolen information.

The HCU Department of Engineering’s vision is to bring the principles of engineering, science and mathematics, plus modern computing and information technology, together with Christian values and standards, to prepare students to serve God and mankind. Graduates will utilize God-given talents and resources to solve technical challenges efficiently and securely, thereby “Securing America’s Future through Engineering.”  HCU’s Cyber Engineering curriculum has been designed to meet all ABET accreditation criteria for Cyber Engineering programs. Learn more about ABET accreditation.

What You'll Learn

Learn more about types of careers in the field of cyber engineering and cybersecurity here.

Build a strong career with a bachelor’s degree in Cyber Engineering.

The Cyber Engineering Program is a four-year undergraduate degree at the intersection of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Programs, and applied to the cyberspace domain. Cyber engineers incorporate electrical engineering and computer science to understand cyberspace and use skills developed in digital forensics, security policy, and network defense to perform cybersecurity tasks, as well as work on engineering hardware and software. Cyber engineers design secure systems at the interface of operational technology (sensors and things that move) and information technology (the digital world).

HCU Cyber Engineering majors work together with classmates and professors to design and build real control systems which can be found in commercial or industrial settings. Cyber Engineering students also focus on:

  • Fundamental knowledge and skills in mathematics (e.g. calculus, linear algebra, cryptography), physics, basic engineering and computer programming, with the opportunity to implement and demonstrate those skills in a sequence of projects
  • Additional concepts in electrical circuits and electronics, microprocessors and computer systems, which prepare them for more advanced subjects and projects in the upper levels
  • Important concepts in computer networks, cybersecurity operations and control systems; cyber engineering majors also can choose from advanced elective courses in digital forensics and cyber crime, wireless and mobile security, reverse engineering, cryptography, distributed and cloud computing, data analytics and block chain

The Cyber Engineering Program is designed to prepare students for an array of opportunities in cybersecurity fields through a series of cyber courses. These courses are designed to motivate the application of theoretical concepts learned in other courses, and to promote discovery of the underpinnings of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Combining intense coursework and open-ended problems, the project-based cyber courses provide students with a valuable immersion in the field of Cyber Engineering.

The 128 credit-hour bachelor’s degree in Cyber Engineering includes liberal arts core courses, math and science requirements, and major requirements (62 credit hours). Review the full requirements for HCU’s bachelor’s degree in Cyber Engineering.

Every Cyber Engineering major will complete at least one internship before graduation and a major, industry-driven project during the senior year. HCU staff works with students to identify Cyber Engineering internship opportunities from among many corporate partners.

Cybersecurity degrees, certificates and courses are now offered at many community colleges, professional training organizations and universities. These programs typically focus on learning to assess, recommend and manage business cybersecurity issues. Some programs are offered as part of computer science, and will stress computer theory, computing problems and solutions, and the design of computer systems and user interfaces.

Engineering programs at HCU, however, focus on using math and science to solve practical problems or to design solutions. No university in Texas offers a comparable program to the BS in Cyber Engineering at HCU. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science bachelor’s degrees are also available at HCU. The demand for graduates from HCU’s College of Engineering is very strong and there are many job opportunities. No other Electrical Engineering or Computer Science degree in the Houston metropolitan area focuses on curricular threads and projects that include cybersecurity or related threads.

Delve into more about Cyber Engineering and what you’ll study.

BS, Cyber Engineering - Program Distinctives

Project-based Learning

In HCU’s Department of Engineering, in the first year of the program, Cyber Engineering students begin to address cyber-related issues (e.g., security, Internet of Things, embedded systems, software protection, network defense, programming, mobility, etc.). First-year Cyber Engineering projects use a versatile hardware platform (mobile electronics kit, computing kit) to provide students with hands-on projects while learning the intricacies of engineering and computing. In this immersive learning environment, as Cyber Engineering students deal with actual problems that require physical and practical solutions, they develop problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and other transferable skills.

Curricular Threads

All HCU Department of Engineering programs share broad theme or topics, called curricular threads. Cyber Engineering majors, as well as students in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, follow curricular threads that include Cloud Computing (storage, access, security), Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and AI (Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence), Mobility and Wireless Security (mobile devices, Internet of Things) and Project Management.

Christian Principles

The mission of HCU is to provide a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual and professional excellence as a result of our central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Degree Benefits

The Securing America’s Future through Engineering (SAFE) Lab courses provide the foundation for students in all degree programs in the HBU College of Engineering. The SAFE Lab courses are taught in specially designed classrooms with tables seating four students with ready-to-use fabrication equipment, including soldering irons and other tools. For Cyber Engineering majors, and all students in the College, these real-world applications build confidence, promote retention of knowledge and provide a much-needed, hands-on context for students living in our digital age.

The SAFE Lab Engineering courses are taught over two semesters and provide four semester credit hours each (total of 8 semester credit hours in the first year). In these courses, first-year Cyber Engineering students build a robot using a microprocessor and other components. They program their robot to accomplish various challenges and develop a control system for a Smart Factory. This system accepts multiple inputs, in order to control multiple outputs, to maintain signals within desired levels. Wireless control of the Smart Factory, and wireless security, will also be included in the project. The security of the inputs, outputs and components will be considered during design and implementation. This introduces first-year Cyber Engineering students to the Internet of Things, and how engineering and computer science can help keep the IoT safe and secure.

In these courses, first-year Cyber Engineering students build a computer using a microprocessor and related components (keyboard, monitor, inputs and outputs).  The key component of the SAFE Lab Cyber Projects kit is the Raspberry Pi computer. Cyber Engineering students will also learn basics of computer science and software programming, using the Java and Python programming languages. The SAFE Lab Cyber courses are taught over two semesters and provide three semester credit hours each, for a total of six semester credit hours in the first year.

Graduate Outcomes

Career Paths for Cyber Engineers

Worldwide, there’s a need for 2 million cybersecurity professionals, given that every small, medium and large business is dealing with cybersecurity issues. HCU graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Engineering degree will be prepared to fill high-demand jobs in energy, healthcare, marine transportation and other industries. Any company involved in critical infrastructure needs at least some cyber engineers who understand both the operational technology and the information technology relevant to that organization.

Cyber Engineering graduates will work in security operations, process control, network security, threat reduction and incident response, and other cybersecurity-related positions. Some graduates will work to design the next generation of connected devices, so that better security measures can be built into the devices during design and production, before utilization and operation begins. Explore more about salaries and job outlook for Cyber Engineering graduates.

CyberSeek reports a national demand for approximately 300,000 cybersecurity professionals, with demand for more than 20,000 cybersecurity professionals for the State of Texas. The need for engineers and scientists who can design and secure information and control systems is large and growing. CyberSeek is a unique tool designed to connect job seekers and employers hiring for in-demand cybersecurity skills, and provide detailed data about the cybersecurity job market. The tool shows a national demand for approximately 300,000 cybersecurity professionals, with demand for more than 20,000 cybersecurity professionals for the State of Texas, with a supply that is rated “Very Low.”  In the Houston metropolitan area alone, the demand is estimated to be more than 3,300, with a supply that is rated to be “Very Low.”

Established by the Greater Houston Partnership, Cyber Houston is a task force supporting the metro area. The task force has provided a number of recommendations for protective measures, awareness measures and response to criminal cyber activity. In 2015, the task force noted that in Greater Houston “job postings had grown 74 percent in just six years, twice as quickly as other IT jobs.” Opportunities in cybersecurity are growing faster than employers can fill them. Median salaries for cybersecurity jobs are projected to be between $70,000 and $118,000. And 84 percent of the cybersecurity positions require a bachelor’s degree or higher.  HCU is represented on the Cyber Houston task force.

BS, Cyber Engineering Courses

HCU’s BS, Cyber Engineering degree program focuses on the latest technologies and theoretical underpinnings to equip graduates for a variety of opportunities in cyber-related fields.