John D’Arcy, PhD ’05, shares how his love for cybersecurity shaped his professional life
Nothing is more rewarding than achieving something you have been working towards for a long time. For John D’Arcy, PhD ’05, that rang true when he was appointed senior editor for MIS Quarterly, the preeminent academic journal in his field, in January 2022.
D’Arcy credits his success to Temple and his professors.
He began his PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in management information systems (MIS) at the Fox School in 2001. At the time, the MIS concentration was just beginning to be offered and he was among the first five students who enrolled.
“I was the first graduate of the (MIS concentration),” says D’Arcy. “When I meet someone from the younger generation, they sometimes refer to me as the OG.”
Since the beginning of his academic career, D’Arcy’s primary area of research has been cybersecurity.
“My advisor was interested in understanding how investors of a particular firm reacted to a data breach,” says D’Arcy. “This initially sparked my interest in cybersecurity and ultimately led to my dissertation.”
He says that although today there are multiple studies on the impact of data breaches on the stock market, the research he developed with his advisor was one of the first on the subject.
After graduating from the Fox School with this PhD in 2005, D’Arcy taught in the computer science department at Towson University in Baltimore for two years, followed by teaching in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana for another five years.
“I’m an East Coast guy,” says D’Arcy as he explains one of the reasons why he joined the University of Delaware in 2012. There, he is a tenured professor in the department of accounting and management information systems in the Lerner College of Business and Economics.
While cybersecurity wasn’t the most popular during his time in the Fox PhD program, that has changed dramatically. Today, Grand View Research reports that the global cybersecurity market size is valued at $167 billion and is expected to grow nearly 11% from 2021 to 2028.
“I specialized in a topic that has passed the test of time both in terms of research and teaching,” says D’Arcy. “It made me a more desirable candidate.”
Since the field is becoming popular, D’Arcy thinks that one big challenge is trying to publish in this area. “Researchers are doing very interesting work and it’s become a lot more crowded to the point where it’s harder to get your work in the top journals,” he says. “But that can be a good thing because it’s advancing the study of cybersecurity and knowledge in this field.”
As senior editor, D’Arcy is now in a position at MIS Quarterly where he has a major role in which articles in the area of cybersecurity get published. A leader in the discipline, MIS Quarterly is a peer-reviewed academic journal that covers research in management information systems and information technology.
“It is a tremendous responsibility because you’re shaping the scholarship in this area,” says D’Arcy. “You’re impacting other scholars’ careers as well.”
From being one of the first researchers in the field of cybersecurity to becoming someone who determines relevant scholarship, D’Arcy feels like this is one of the greatest honors of his life. Looking back, he is very thankful to the MIS program and department at the Fox School.
“Seventeen years ago, I didn’t pick a topic that was a fad. I’m truly grateful to the program because it gave me an area to work and research in,” says D’Arcy. “The Fox School does a great job of connecting people and I still feel like a part of the Temple community.”