Southern Arkansas University proudly announces Trey Talley as the first Cyber Criminology graduate this spring. The major combines Computer Science and Criminal Justice courses and will help graduates like Talley find greater flexibility in a growing job market.
Talley, a graduate of El Dorado High School, said that learning he would be the first Cyber Criminology graduate “is hands down my biggest highlight of being a student here.” Having transferred to SAU from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Talley also has the distinction of being the first person in his family to graduate from a four-year institution. “It makes my college journey that much more worthwhile,” he said.
Talley said the program’s mix of Cyber Security and Criminal Justice piqued his interest. “It details the human aspect to cybercrime, not the victims but the offenders,” he said, “and that pulled my attention.”
He described Cyber Criminology as the study of “how our current legal system handles cybercrimes, what makes certain groups more susceptible to cybercrime than others, and how you can use computers to investigate and defend against these crimes.”
Dr. Elizabeth Gloyd, assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Cyber Criminology, said the Internet “has truly made the world a smaller place. There have been significant advancements in technology that have benefited everyone, but also created new opportunities for criminals to cause harm to others.”
She said Cyber Criminology at SAU “incorporates the computer science skills needed to tackle this new issue affecting society.” The major “underscores the importance of understanding human behaviors and victimization as a means to prevent cybercrime.”
Gloyd said Talley “has set the bar high for students in the major. He has consistently shown that he recognizes the importance of addressing crime and victimization in the new realm of cyberspace.”
“This degree helps you cover more ground in the job market,” said Talley. “You’ll have skills that apply to both Cyber Security and Criminal Justice, allowing you more flexibility with any career you’re interested in.”
He said that as the world heads toward greater reliance on technology, “people will be needed to look at victim and offender patterns and build the next wave of defense needed to protect the average person.”
COVID has accelerated the transition by a substantial amount, and with it came a spike in computer crimes. “It’s crucial that people analyze and address such crimes from a legal and technical standpoint to make the world safer,” said Talley. “I firmly believe that a degree in Cyber Criminology will prepare people to be able to do that.”
Careers in cyber criminology include, but are not limited to, cybercrime investigator, information security analyst, and digital forensic analyst.