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Illustration with cellphone and 'phishing' references

This spring semester a few pioneering students are working hard to finish their academic careers strong and be among the first to receive diplomas from Iowa State for a Bachelor of Science in cyber security engineering. The graduates will go on to work in a variety of fields like health care, banking or retail. Their aim will be to help these business entities protect company info and the private data of their customers from hackers.

Talon Stromgren is a member of the inaugural class of cyber security engineers: "I had an interest in security and it was my minor. So when they announced the new major, I switched because that's what I want to do – 100 percent."

Stromgren began his adventure at Iowa State studying computer engineering. He got involved in the Information Assurance Student Group club and even participated in a few Cyber Defense Competitions. These meetings and events further developed Stromgren's interest in and excitement for the field of cyber security. "Overall it's been a great experience," he said.

As Stromgren dove deeper into cyber security engineering, he found the faculty provided excellent learning opportunities. "The classes are really informational. You learn a ton of real-world applicable things. I've used what I've learned for school projects, in some internships, and at my job."

He'll even be able to use his education day one of his career adventure. Cyber security engineering program faculty leader University Professor Doug Jacobson says the curriculum is designed to be actionable. "Talon and all of his peers in the program will be armed with skills that make them highly sought-after talent in the job market." In fact, Jacobson – a nationally recognized voice in the field – says cyber security is one of the fastest growing professions in information technology.

Iowa State is regularly evaluating and updating its course offerings to reflect society's and the economy's evolving needs. Check out new majors in emerging disciplines like cyber security engineering, data science, entrepreneurship, or any of the 100 other majors.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.