A little over a year ago (13 months, to be exact), students began their first courses in the new 100% online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program—a collaboration between the MIS department and UA College of Engineering. It has been a pretty great year. Here are some highlights:
- We have admirers. Cyber Degrees has the program on their list of top online Master’s in Cybersecurity degrees, giving it “high marks for student engagement and faculty credentials” (among other good stuff). TheBestSchools.org calls it one of the best programs for studying cyber crime.
- New programs bring opportunities to develop exciting new courses. MIS 562—Cyber Threat Intelligence, taught in May and June, was very popular with students. We can’t wait for MIS 566— Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Social Engineering to start next month.
- The first graduate will finish the program in December. Getting a Master’s degree while working full time, all in less than 18 months? Remarkable, and an example of the high caliber of students we’re honored to work with.
What is diverse about these high-caliber students:
- Age. While the average age of those enrolled in the program is about 35, one-fourth of our current students are over 40. They range in age from 23 to 56.
- Level of experience. Our youngest students come straight from college with undergraduate degrees in MIS, engineering, or computer science. Older students have years or decades of work experience with a variety of employers, including branches of the U.S. military.
- Career goals. Some of our students are specializing in physical systems, others in information systems. Because we’re working with the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Systems and Industrial Engineering, we can train students for a variety of technical jobs in cybersecurity.
What our students have in common:
- They work. Hard. The program was designed for working professionals, and nearly all of our students have full-time jobs. Many have kids or other family responsibilities. They’re able to balance all of it.
- They’re fast and responsive. Because we accept new students into the program six times a year, many start taking classes right away after making the decision to gain new job skills and start the application process. Once they’re in the program they put new skills into practice at work as soon as they learn them in classes. We recently heard from a student who was just hired in his first cybersecurity job based on the knowledge he has gained so far in the program, even though he’s still a few terms away from graduation.
Happy birthday, MS Cybersecurity! We’re excited about the new students, faculty, and courses to come in year two.