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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma 118

David Hume writes "The Los Angeles Times has a story about the two-year University of Tulsa Cyber Corps Program. About '85% of the 260 graduates since 2003 have gone to the NSA, which students call "the fraternity," or the CIA, which they call "the sorority."' 'Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.' According to the University of Tulsa website, two programs — the National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Information Assurance Scholarship Program — provide scholarships to Cyber Corps students."
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

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  • by LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:53AM (#42081265)

    Wow, good ol' Cyber Corp! I entered the program (the one in Tulsa, it's also at other schools, but Tulsa is the "heart" of the program) in January 2003 and had my MS in Comp Sci in 3 semesters, graduating in May 2004.

    You're able to go to school full-time because they pay for your books, tuition, AND give you a stipend for housing/food/living either on or off campus. And that buck goes pretty far in Tulsa (I think my 2 bed, 2 bath appt was $550/month).

    I went through the NSF-version of the program. The DoD version was for military personnel only (I think?) who wanted to get a better degree.

    I was one of the few that didn't go to NSA. Wasn't comfortable with being a super-spook (especially during the Bush years), so I went to a more "benign" agency. You MUST make sure that you'll be able to get a security clearance before you sign up, because if you get selected for the program, go through it, and then can't get a job because you're not clearable, you owe ALL the money back (like $40K or so). However, I had one arrest with a suspended sentence (minor pot possession) and was able to get a Secret clearance with no trouble, though YMMV.

    TU (University of Tulsa) has had an Information Assurance program since loooong before it was popular (very early 90s?), so they've had time to build up talent and are VERY well connected in terms of getting you a job. You're pretty much guaranteed a job at NSA. I know several folks who went there and enjoy the work. I know several others who didn't and left for the private sector after their "time as up".

    It's a "scholarship for service" system for paying back your tuition/stipend. If it takes you 3 semesters to get your degree, you have to work for the Fed Gov for 18 months to be fully "paid back". Then you can quit the Gov and go work for a contractor and make big $ since you're already cleared. I stayed in Fed service for 2.5 years and then went back to the private sector.

    Feel free to ask me any other questions. It was a great deal and I'm so happy I was able to get a free MS out of it.

  • Poorly researched (Score:5, Informative)

    by gruntled ( 107194 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:41AM (#42081441)

    I joined the Cybercorps in its first year of operation after two decades in an unrelated field; the reason you've never heard of the program is it was scheduled to be announced on Sept. 12, 2011. There are probably hundreds of schools certified as Centers of Excellence by the NSA; some of them are top notch, some of them not so much. I've been working for the government for nearly a decade now: Operations, compliance, and even teaching. Happy to discuss. Here's a link to the official Cyber Corps Web site, run by the Office of Personnel Management: []

  • by gruntled ( 107194 ) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @12:47PM (#42081949)

    In the United States, it's not that domestic spying is not allowed, it's that it's prohibited within specific agencies. The FBI does a lot of internal spying.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982