Oct. 2, 2023

Computer science doctoral student interviewed by Cybernews


Zia Muhammad, a cybersecurity doctoral student at NDSU, recently was interviewed by Cybernews Academy about his academic journey, his appreciation for NDSU and how his growing interest in cybersecurity blossomed into an extensive educational journey. 

Muhammad highlighted the importance of assessing his options before committing to a doctoral program. Eventually, Muhammad found NDSU’s cybersecurity program largely because of the talented faculty. Muhammad found a research professor whose work aligned with his interests, and he began working alongside faculty members, researching generative artificial intelligence. 

Another reason for his decision to move to Fargo was the welcoming and accommodating atmosphere of the area.  Several other unique factors piqued Muhammad’s interest and ultimately drew him to NDSU. The facilities, clubs, societies, the research advising center and the supportive nature of our university were important to Muhammad personally and professionally. 

Above all, finding a program and professor aligned with Muhammad’s research interests was the predominant factor pushing in selecting NDSU. 

Muhammad’s growing interest in cybersecurity blossomed, as did his educational and professional development, and he gained practical experience.

He gained experience in various aspects of his educational career. Still, he said he learned the most while at the Challey Institute at NDSU, where he works as a student fellow, researching and writing pieces for various news channels and media platforms. He told Cybernews Academy how thrilled he is to be a part of a vibrant community of people engaged in similar work.

When asked what he enjoys most about his degree, Muhammad referenced one of the program’s influential cybersecurity modules– the module “survey of cybersecurity.” He said this research-oriented course differed from other classes because students were given research papers that they would have to discuss with their fellow students. This change of pace and diversity in the curriculum is something that Muhammad appreciates about the cybersecurity program at NDSU. 

In the future, Muhammad said he wants to bridge the gap between industry and academia to help produce the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. He plans on pursuing a degree in the cybersecurity industry and bringing about positive change by securing critical infrastructures that will make the online world safer. 

Read Muhammad’s full story on Cybernews Academy’s website.

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