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Cybersecurity at NU

ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
So my kid is off waitlist. He is currently committed at UC Berkeley as a CS intent major, but leaving options open. Anyone willing to provide insight into the Cybersecurity program at NU?

Replies to: Cybersecurity at NU

  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,653 Forum Champion
    edited May 11
    The program is very solid and has a lot of cool things from my experience (CS with cybersecurity friends). Northeastern has a lot of government recruiting as well as private security recruiting for co-op's and full time offers - some are even a direct track where one does all of their co-op's with a government agency and then turns into a full-time job. Private companies are usually better for flexibility.

    Academically, the program is of course mostly CS with security/cryptography/networking additions. One of the coolest courses is CS 5770 - Software Vulnerabilities and Security. The class is all about finding exploits in the wild and on specific places and is very hands-on. While listed as a graduate course, undergrads in cybersecurity take the course as early as their fourth semester.

    Link: https://wkr.io/courses/2016/spring/cs5770/

    The department is very much on the practical side as one might expect, as is the research for the professors in the department.

    as a CS intent major

    Does this mean that he will need to apply to be a CS major there?
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
    Yes, the Letters and Sciences CS major at UCB is not direct admit. To petition for admittance into the major requires a 3.30 GPA for the first 3 lower division CS required classes. (CS through the College of Engineering IS a direct admit). Looking at the grade distributions in previous semesters for the very first class, CS61A, only around 50% get a B+ or higher, but the class is also taken by a lot of non-CS intent majors as well. In fact for that matter, everyone coming into L&S comes in undeclared but take classes based on their intent major. You hear all the rumors about grade deflation and the 1,500 people lower division lectures and it does make one wonder.

    Admittedly, we don’t know that much about the NE program at this point, my D goes there and loves the place...we’ll have the weekend to figure things out.

  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,653 Forum Champion
    For CS generally at Northeastern, I'd read this, which summarizes the program approach nicely:

    http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/matthias/Thoughts/Developing_Developers.html

    I'm a bit biased as a Northeastern CS student, but I don't think UCB will offer any huge difference in CS unless you're looking specifically at top research. Northeastern grads do well on the east coast and in SV at all the big names, the class offerings are plentiful at both, and you'll likely find better introductory teaching (see essay above) and smaller/more available class sizes at Northeastern given the crowding of the CS major at UCB recently, plus the major guarantee and cybersecurity specialty of NEU.

    You can get an idea from these two data points where the schools stand:

    http://csrankings.org/
    (#4 vs #23 for research papers to top conferences in past 10 years)

    https://hiringsolved.com/blog/hiringsolved-identifies-top-skills-backgrounds-make-2017s-wanted-tech-employee/
    (#1 vs #21 for non-size adjusted new grad hires from top tech companies for CS positions)
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