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RMU Unveils New Cyber Forensics Degree with “Beyond Busted”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pittsburgh – Cue The Who soundtrack: CSI is coming to RMU.

Robert Morris University will host “Beyond Busted: Forensics in Action” from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the International Suite of the Sewall Center at RMU’s Moon Township campus. Students will investigate a mock crime scene and learn, for example, how to dust for fingerprints and identify suspects through fingerprinting.

Students also will get the chance to talk to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, FBI agents, and other law enforcement representatives who will discuss careers in criminal justice. Local high school students also will be attending.

The event marks the formal launch of RMU’s bachelor of science degree in cyber forensics and information security, offered to students beginning this fall and the first of its kind in western Pennsylvania.

Cyber forensics, or computer forensics, pertains to the recovery of legal evidence found on computers or other digital storage devices. Such evidence has been marshaled in a range of criminal and civil proceedings, from crimes committed with computers – such as hacking personal data – to murder. For example, Dennis Rader, the infamous BTK serial killer, was caught because of data gleaned from a floppy disk he sent anonymously to police.

RMU’s cyber forensics program trains students in information security and the basics of criminal investigation – a powerful combination that gives Robert Morris students an edge. 

“The field of computer forensics is growing at a rapid pace. With advances in technology, computer forensic examiners will be in greater demand, not only to investigate criminal activity, but also to implement the latest methods concerning the preservation of evidence and presentation of said evidence in court,” said Zappala.

Demand for jobs is high for cyber investigators in law enforcement as well as in private corporate security. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 20 to 50 percent job growth in the field over the next eight years, with entry-level salaries averaging $45,000 to $85,000 annually.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.