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May 24, 2018 10:03 PM

DSU Sees Increase In Women Majoring In Cyber Sciences

Madison, SD

More women are interested in cyber sciences at Dakota State University. 

Over the last five years, the school has seen a 296 percent increase in women enrolled in programs at the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences. 

DSU student Kelly Criddle knows her way around the server room. 

But rewind to the beginning of her college career and she wasn't so sure she wanted to step into the cyber security field. 

She felt intimidated. 

"There's a lot of boys.  I'm most likely always the only girl in my classes, but by this point I'm pretty much used to it," DSU Student Kelley Criddle said. 

And more women are stepping up. 

"We've had an unprecedented increase in women studying in our Beacom College programs," Associate Professor Ashley Podhradsky said. 

Ashley Podhradsky is an Associate Professor of digital forensics. 

She credits more awareness for the uptick in women getting into the program. 

"Going into schools and showing kids the interesting aspects of cyber security," Podhradsky said. 

And more voices the better.

"We have a lot of challenges in cyber security and we need a diverse team and bright minds to solve those challenges," Podhradsky said. 

So if you are considering getting into cyber security, Criddle says give it a try. 

"That's the hardest part is just getting involved," Criddle said. 

Now, the incoming DSU senior is getting closer to having a career in the field. 

Podhradsky and assistant professor Pam Rowland have developed the CybHER program, which helps girls and women get involved in cyber security. 

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