Educating Cybersecurity Experts: Analysis of Cybersecurity Education in Finnish Universities




cyber education, cyber strategy, security, cyber competence, cybersecurity taxonomy


Cybersecurity is no longer just a technical discipline but a strategic concept. Nowadays, cybersecurity has become an essential part of national security strategies. The European Union and European countries have established cybersecurity strategies to strengthen European and national resilience against cyber threats and ensure that citizens and businesses can take full advantage of reliable services and digital tools. A wide range of actors in society, from both government and non-government sectors, are already involved in cybersecurity work. However, there is a constant need to increase the workforce of cybersecurity specialists to manage cybersecurity risks. Finland's cybersecurity strategy emphasizes the importance of developing cybersecurity education to address the cybersecurity risks the country faces. For the nation to achieve cyber self-sufficiency, the pool of cybersecurity specialists should include experts in every knowledge area relevant to various aspects of cybersecurity. Universities have a role in training cybersecurity specialists through their education programs. Consequently, universities should offer comprehensive education encompassing all cybersecurity knowledge areas. This paper aims to overview the state of cybersecurity education in Finland's universities by focusing on cybersecurity education content. By analysing the content of the universities' cybersecurity education, the aim was to understand how current education in Finland meets the cybersecurity knowledge areas of the European Cybersecurity Taxonomy. In spring 2023, data on cybersecurity degree programs and courses were collected through surveys from nine Finnish universities providing cybersecurity education. As a result, we gained an understanding of the capability of Finnish university-level cybersecurity education to offer specialists in different domain areas of cybersecurity.

Author Biographies

Piia Perälä, University of Jyväskylä

Piia Perälä holds an M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration (major in Information Systems) from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is a project manager and university teacher at the University of Jyväskylä in the Faculty of Information Technology. Her main research areas are cybersecurity education and information security behavior. 

Martti Lehto, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Dr. Martti Lehto (Military Sciences), Col (GS) (ret.) works as a research director at the University of Jyväskylä in the Faculty of Information Technology. His research areas are cyber security and cyber warfare. He served for 30 years in the Finnish Air Force. He is also an adjunct professor of air and cyber warfare at the National Defence University.