College News

Barton launches Network Security Program

graphic with computer code on it

April 20, 2022
Story by Joe Vinduska

With technology controlling almost every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that the field of cyber security is growing quickly and Barton has responded to this trend by introducing its Network Security Program, which has started enrolling students for the fall 2022 semester and is available fully online. In addition to this exciting development, the Computer Science Program is now also available fully online.

Executive Director of Workforce Training and Economic Development Mary Foley said the job outlook and the demand for workers in Network Security made developing a program attractive for the college and its students.

“According to the Kansas Occupational Outlook Report, the projected outlook for employment in the Information Security field is trending up and is expected to grow by 15.6 percent by 2026 or approximately 1.5 percent annually,” she said. “The projected median salary is $66,880.”

Network Security Instructor Dr. Robert Davis has had a long career in multiple fields including military security, finance, and computer science as well as education in these fields. He said he is excited to give students the tools they need to keep information safe for everyone.

“It is imperative that students are provided with a toolbox of methods to reduce and eliminate the risk of cyber-attacks and prepare them for jobs in cybersecurity,” he said. “This program will provide the student with information on how to achieve basic security objectives such as authentication, authorization, access control, confidentiality, data integrity and non-repudiation by using secure systems and design principles. Students will learn about major security breaches that have occurred over the years such as ones that compromise data for large companies including Target, JPMorgan Chase, Yahoo, and Equifax and how to build countermeasures to defend against such attacks.”

Davis said it’s important to realize that breaches are not just computer and finance related. Utilities, energy, and computer systems controlling literally anything can be vulnerable and cause major problems.

“The Target major data security breach happened after network login credentials were stolen from Target’s third-party heating and air conditioning vendor.  The breach that exposed customers' financial data occurred because hackers were able to gain entry through Target's HVAC system. So, if you have your home settings tied to your phone or another device and can control your heat and air settings, turn lights on or off, or unlock your door you must be concerned about security.”

In addition to the attractive salary, Davis said job security is another benefit of a career in this field.

“According to an article in Cybercrime Magazine, by Steve Morgan in 2021, ‘There is a huge need for cybersecurity workers over the next decade. There were 3.5 million open cybersecurity positions in 2021.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects information security analyst will be the tenth-fastest growing occupation over the next decade, with an employment growth rate of 31 percent compared to the four percent average growth rate for all occupations.’”

Barton Computer Science  

Barton’s established Computer Science Program is now available fully online thanks to Instructor Coordinator Cristi Gale, who saw a need to make the program as easily accessible as possible.

“Online learning is a significant portion of Barton’s student population,” she said. “Each degree that Barton adds to its online offerings increases the opportunities for our online students. Our residential students also benefit by being able to complete a course towards their major during the summer while living at home. Students enrolled at other college and universities can pick-up credits at a lower price point as well.”

Gale said there are a wide variety of careers available in the field and it is growing. There are careers such as software engineering, web development, mobile apps, virtual reality, game development, computer forensics, database management and robotics.

“Students can work for large corporations like Google, mid-sized companies, local businesses, or work individually to design the next popular web app like Wordle,” she said. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics jobs in computer and information research science are expected to grow 22 percent from 2020-2030.”

For more information, contact Instructor and Coordinator of Information Technology Cristi Gale at or (620) 786-1183.