The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers degree programs that prepare students for high-demand professions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. With an emphasis on Grand Canyon University’s Christian worldview, our college believes in instilling social awareness, responsibility, ethical character and compassion. Our blog, BrainSTEM, focuses on topics related to science, engineering and technology, with engaging contributions from students, staff and faculty. On the blog, you can find helpful resources relating to STEM fields and learn more about current events occurring globally, locally and within GCU. We hope to provide our readers with information that helps them learn about the necessary knowledge, skills and mental disciplines to succeed in today’s job market.
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Category: CS and IT

The word “portfolio” often brings to mind an image of an artist’s portfolio packed with watercolors and sketches. However, STEM graduates also need portfolios to showcase their skills to potential employers. It’s customary for an IT employer to ask prospective programmers to provide a portfolio for consideration. For this reason, it’s best to take a proactive approach. Start compiling your portfolio before you graduate with a BS in Computer Programming in order to streamline your future job search.

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Cybersecurity is among the most pressing issues of modern times. In virtually any industry, IT graduates can pursue opportunities in protecting sensitive digital information. From banks to retailers to educational institutions, cybersecurity is of paramount importance. While there are many rewarding opportunities in the private sector, graduates with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity might consider looking to the public sector to find a rewarding job.

Scholarship Opportunities

You might already be familiar with financial incentive programs that seek to entice teachers to work in socio-economically depressed areas. There is a similar program in place for cybersecurity professionals. The CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, established by the National Science Foundation, offers generous academic stipends for undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in cybersecurity degree programs. In return for the stipend, the student agrees to work in federal, state, local or tribal governments when they graduate.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Cybersecurity professionals can benefit from other financial incentives if they decide to secure employment in the public sector. Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, administers the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. You may be able to qualify for student loan forgiveness if, after graduation, you work on a full-time basis for a federal, state, local or tribal government organization. If you wish to apply for this loan forgiveness program, you will have to demonstrate that you’ve already made 120 qualifying payments on your student loans.

Meaningful Career Path

There are countless meaningful opportunities in the private sector. You would be helping to safeguard the sensitive information of hundreds or thousands of consumers, after all. However, a government job may be more personally fulfilling for individuals who are driven by a sense of duty to the country. Your work at a government agency may help protect the nation’s secrets and thwart cyber-attacks by foreign or domestic groups. If this type of work interests you, you might consider exploring STEM opportunities at the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security.

Job Outlook

One of the reasons why STEM master’s degrees are so popular these days is because of the considerable demand for qualified computer scientists in the job marketplace. Cybersecurity jobs are no exception. In both the public and private sector, the projected rate of growth in this field is favorable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2016 through 2026. This rate is much faster than average.


It’s true that cybersecurity jobs in the private sector tend to command higher salaries. However, public sector cybersecurity jobs tend to offer superior benefits packages. In addition, once you get your foot in the door in the public sector, you can generally expect a smoother transition from one job to the next, compared to the private sector. This enables graduates to easily chart a reasonable course to obtain their dream job in cybersecurity.

Propel your career forward by earning your master’s degree online at Grand Canyon University. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity prepares students to pursue high-level cybersecurity positions across a range of industries. Begin your journey today by clicking on the “Request Information” button at the top of your screen.


By Mark K. Reha
Faculty College of Science, Engineering and Technology

I am a full time faculty member and program lead for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. I teach a variety of programming languages, web application frameworks and cloud computing, all of which are taught as part of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming degree. This blog will provide an analogy that can be used to help determine which program, Computer Science, Computer Programming, Information Technology or Cybersecurity is right for you.

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Computer programmers can make a great impression at the technical interview by being well-prepared for the most common questions. Typically, coders spend weeks studying before each interview. This might seem excessive but remember that the more time you spend preparing for the questions, the more confident you’ll feel in front of the whiteboard.

Questions About Arrays

Interviewers love to ask questions about arrays. In a typical technical interview, you’ll likely get asked multiple questions about them. The problem with them is that, once an array is created, it is impossible to change its size. If you need to make an array shorter or longer, you’ll have to create a brand new array and transfer the elements. To answer array-based questions proficiently, you should brush up on array data structure and programming constructors, like fundamental operators. Consider these common array-based questions and directives:

  • Using Java, reverse an array in place.
  • If an array has multiple duplicates, how can you find duplicate numbers?
  • Using Java, remove duplicates from a particular array.
  • Identify the smallest and largest numbers on an unsorted integer array.

Questions About Linked Lists

Like an array, a linked list stores elements in a linear way. Unlike the array, a linked list does not rely on contiguous storage locations for the elements. Since linked lists are just lists of nodes, you can add or take away elements instead of creating an entirely new linked list. Linked lists are recursive data structures so brush up on the basics of recursion before your technical interview. Consider these common linked list questions and directives:

  • Reverse a linked list.
  • Without recursion, reverse a singly linked list.
  • How can you eliminate duplicate nodes in an unsorted linked list?
  • How can you convert a binary tree to a doubly linked list?
  • How can you swap every two nodes?

Questions About String Coding

If you have a solid knowledge of the array, string-based questions should be easier for you. Strings are a character array. It can be helpful if you remind yourself of the structure of strings, regardless of which programming language you’re using for the solutions. And always remember that strings are immutable. Some of the most common string-based questions and directives include:

  • Find all the permutations of a string.
  • How can you use recursion to reverse a given string?
  • Are two given strings a rotation of each other?
  • Is a given string a palindrome?
  • How can you determine if two strings are anagrams of each other?
  • How could you print duplicate characters from a given string?
  • How can you tell if there are only digits on a given string?

As you can see, there are lots of questions you should prepare for when you’re getting ready for your technical interview. Set aside more time to study than you think you’ll need.

You can prepare for a seamless transition from academia into the workforce with help from the Career IMPACT Center and the Office of Internships. Grand Canyon University is committed to helping our students achieve their career aspirations. If you’re a future student who wants to learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming degree, you can click on the link to Request More Information.


Cybersecurity is proving to be among the most in-demand career fields of the 21st century. In fact, through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field to grow by 28 percent—a much faster rate than the average. New threats are emerging practically every day and as the cyber-attacks evolve, so too must the tactics used by cybersecurity professionals. Even as cybersecurity specialists look ahead to the future of the digital era, it’s worth taking a look back to see how the field has evolved over time.

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You’ve likely heard about some of the most common jobs in cybersecurity, such as security consultants and information security analysts. There are also management and executive positions available, such as chief information security officer (CISO) and information technology (IT) manager. However, there is a whole world of possibilities in this field beyond these common job titles. If any of the following careers appeals to you, consider earning your Master of Science in Cyber security.

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Java is a strong and versatile programming language. Most tech companies generally expect that the computer programmers they hire will know how to use Java, so you’ll definitely want to focus on it while you work toward your degree. As with learning any new programming language, you’ll be able to pick up on its nuances better by practicing coding as you learn. Be sure to watch out for these common mistakes.

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Successful information technology (IT) workers understand that change is one of the only constants in the industry. And to get the most out of this rewarding career path, it’s necessary to adapt and drive the next wave of innovation. Blockchain technology is the perfect example of how quickly the tech world can change. If you’re vaguely familiar with cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, then you’ve already been introduced to blockchain tech, perhaps without realizing it.

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As the importance of cybersecurity is becoming increasingly apparent to major corporations and other organizations, IT professionals have been edging their way into the C-suite. One example is chief information security officer (CISO)—a position that many corporations have embraced in an effort to modernize their organizations and take on the challenges of the 21st century. Could a C-suite position be in your future?

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Graduates of GCU’s BS in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program practice their skills through ethical hacking. This is the act of penetrating networks to find threats and vulnerabilities in those systems. Ethical hackers conduct these penetration tests with the permission, and usually at the request, of businesses who want to ensure that malicious attackers cannot exploit their computer systems.

An ethical hacker has the technical skills and knowledge to identify issues within a target system. That hacker works within the rules of the business and law and does not exploit their findings. Their goals are to assess the security of a system and report on their findings.

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