When people think of business school, thoughts of MBAs and core subjects like accounting and finance may come to mind. However, many business schools are looking to provide more than the usual academic offerings and placing a focus on cybersecurity degree programs and courses.
If current events are any indication, there is no better time for business schools to offer programs that can prepare students for careers in cybersecurity.
A growing danger
With so many people accessing bank accounts or making purchases via smartphones, tablets and other devices, it is easy to see why personal information is more vulnerable than ever. President Barack Obama has referred to cybersecurity as "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation," according to the White House's Web site.
Obama understands the threat posed by cyberattacks, and so too does Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security. Napolitano, who is stepping down from her post, touched on the need for cybersecurity in a recent speech at the National Press Club.
"Our country will, for example, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy, and the everyday functioning of our society," Napolitano said. "While we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across the government, and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done, and must be done quickly."
Business schools embrace cybersecurity
As businesses are prime targets for cybercriminals, it only makes sense for business schools to provide degree programs that help students learn how to defend their future employers.
For example, Virginia's George Mason University offers a Master of Science in Management of Secure Information Systems. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the program is designed for students who have an average of 15 years of professional experience. A number of the students pursuing this master's degree are interested in becoming chief information security officers or filling another executive role.
Meanwhile, Loyola University Maryland's Sellinger School of Business provides individuals with an opportunity to earn a graduate-credit Cyber Security Certificate. This one-year program is designed so that students can take its classes as part of their MBA studies, or on their own.
Ultimately, if students have an interest in protecting their nation's computer networks, they should know there are graduate programs that can prepare them for this increasingly important line of work.
By Monique Smith
GraduateGuide.com - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited graduate programs that most interest you.