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OCU renews computer science master’s degree program

Jeff Maxwell
Jeff Maxwell

Oklahoma City University has revamped its Master of Science in Computer Science program to launch in January for the spring 2022 semester and named a new director to lead the program.

The 33-credit-hour program has two tracks to choose from - mobile development and cybersecurity. Both are among the fastest-growing career fields in the industry.

Jeff Maxwell, new program director, has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, including with some of the most in-demand aspects of cybersecurity sought by companies and governments of all sizes. Maxwell has spent the past four years focusing on cybersecurity for a major restaurant ownership group.

He said the recent large-scale hackings and ransomware attacks, along with the media attention surrounding them, has heightened the need for these skills in the computer science industry.

“It’s basically advertising itself,” he said, pointing out the international outcry over the increases in attacks.

At OCU, students on the cybersecurity track will learn to find vulnerabilities in software on both cloud-based web services and independent servers. The latter allows for more freedom and experimentation so students won’t “accidentally break the internet,” Maxwell said.

This track has a developer-focused approach, where students learn the attacks commonly used by hackers and how to write secure code to defend against them.

The mobile development track covers iOS and Android development technical stacks and languages. Students learn to build mobile applications and games for a variety of phones and tablets.

“Despite the large demand for mobile app development, it’s rare for universities to devote entire tracks to it in their programs,” Maxwell said.

The program has two other full-time professors and several adjuncts, and industry experts will visit to share some of their knowledge. Students will also have opportunities to compete in cybersecurity competitions.

The course structure is designed with working adults in mind and can be completed in as little as one year, with flexible learning options.

For more information, including admission prerequisites, visit okcu.edu/artsci, email [email protected] or call 405-208-5094.

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