In partnership with state and Federal leaders, Rhode Island College has launched the Institute for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies.

The institute will be led by former Congressman Jim Langevin, D- R.I., with the aim of positioning Rhode Island at the forefront of cybersecurity education, workforce development, and small business support. The program curriculum is aligned with National Security Agency (NSA) standards. At Rhode Island College, the initiative will be housed within the school’s School of Business.

“The Institute for Cybersecurity & Emerging Technologies is a win for students, our economy and all of Rhode Island,” said Gov. Dan McKee. “We know that students who graduate from this institute will have higher earning potential and will be well positioned to go into this competitive field to fill jobs right here in our state. I am proud to say that Rhode Island is home to an institute that stands out nationwide as a leader in the cybersecurity field and I want to thank Congressman Langevin for being such a strong partner in this effort.”

With its launch, the institute currently offers Rhode Island’s first business-oriented undergraduate cybersecurity degree. According to state leaders, Rhode Island College students will have the opportunity to gain real-world knowledge and experience by interning with leading Rhode Island companies and state and local government agencies.

Additionally, the institute plans to offer a master’s degree, as well as additional certificate programs. Outside of focusing on the college’s enrolled students, the institute will also focus on community outreach to ensure cybersecurity training is available and accessible to professionals across all industries.

Beginning next fall, the institute will also offer a degree in artificial intelligence (AI) that addresses the integration of AI into business processes to increase productivity and insight while also addressing the related cybersecurity, privacy, and ethical issues. The degree incorporates generative AI, large language models, such as ChatGPT, and the reinforcement learning used in autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the degree equips students to address bias in machine learning models to ensure businesses are fair when acting on output from these models.

“In our rapidly evolving digital world, the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals is ever-growing. Identifying and reducing cyber risks and enhancing safeguards within our infrastructure is a critically important need in nearly every industry and company,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Whether they go on to work for the Federal government or in the private sector, developing software, or serving as a systems administrator, Rhode Island College’s new Institute for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies under the leadership of my former colleague, Congressman Langevin, will prepare students with in-demand skills that can help them enter the workforce ready to meet the needs of employers.”

CISA Director Jen Easterly was on hand for the institute’s launch event earlier this month.

“The future of cybersecurity is being shaped right here in Rhode Island,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “Cyber defense is a vital need, which means we must recruit, train, prepare, and inspire the next generation of cyber leaders today. That’s exactly what the Institute for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technology is doing. I’m honored to be a part of today’s launch and grateful to my friend, Congressman Langevin, for his unparalleled leadership and vision.”

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