Students from 150 countries study cyber with TAU’s online course

A cyber security course, developed at TAU, is now starring at the top of the world’s best online courses chart

25 June 2020

Prof. Avishai Wool and Dan Gittik’s online cyber security course was developed at the TAU Innovative Learning Center, and released on December 2019. Now, only six months after the initial release, it is already obvious that the course is “an international bestseller”: in ClassCentrals’ worldwide ranking, the course is ranked first among online cybersecurity courses, and first among cryptography courses. It is also ranked sixth among all 1,750 online courses in computer science, bypassing old and respected courses from universities, such as Stanford and Princeton.


Since its release, over 16,000 students from 150 countries around the world already enrolled to the course to study cyber security, with hundreds of new students joining every week, and it is receiving great reviews.


Prof. Wool from the School of Electrical Engineering says, “The online course that Dan and I built takes the knowledge that, in the past, we taught only to computer engineering students at Tel Aviv University and makes it accessible to learners outside academic institutions worldwide. The course is aimed at people working in the Hi-Tech industry that have no prior knowledge of cyber security, and at people who want to work in the industry. I am proud and pleased to see the fantastic success of our course.”


Israel as a cyber-superpower

The course, which combines video, animation, and practical exercise, spikes interest in many students around the world who see Israel as one of the leading countries in cyber security. The course is particularly popular among students from India, USA, and Israel, but enrolled  students come from practically every country on the planet, from all continents (except antarctica) Most of the students are between the ages 20-40, but among them are also high school students, and even people in their seventies.


Yuval Schreibman, CEO of TAU Online, TAU Innovative Learning Center, explains that since the Corona crisis outbreak and the transition to studying online, there was an increase in enrollment from international students. “Students around the world want to study the most up-to-date and relevant courses, and as, luckily, Israel is seen as a cyber-superpower, the new course attracts many young people who want to study cyber security.”


The course is taught by Prof. Avishai Wool from the Faculty of Engineering, a cyber-security researcher, and a co-founder and the CTO of AlgoSec, and Dan Gittik, a cyber-security expert with a vast experience in the field from Israel and abroad, working with leading technology companies in the industry and with the Israeli intelligence corps. 


Security in high demand

Cyber security is a fast growing sphere, and therefore there is a growing demand for workers with knowledge in the field. Many companies request formal training from workers who are interested to transfer into the cyber field in the industry. The course provides its students with profound understanding of the main subjects in the field: Cryptography, cyber security, attacks and defends in the virtual world, and familiarity with viruses and other malignant computer programs.


The production of the course was funded mostly by a grant from the Council for Higher Education and Digital Israel. The course’s two parts are part of the edX platform’s Professional Certificate program. Students accomplishing both parts of the course can acquire a certificate from edX.


Liat Doron, Chief Learning Officer at Check Point: “As a world leader in cyber security, it is a core belief at Check Point that understanding of this field is crucial for everyone who lives in our connected world. Just as we recognize the threats in the physical world, we need to do the same in the virtual world. We prioritized making the knowledge in the field accessible to everyone, and we cooperate with leading institutions in Israel and around the world to achieve this goal. We are pleased that the cooperation with Tel Aviv University brought such impressive results.” 

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