Online MBA in Cybersecurity

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A cybersecurity MBA trains students for lucrative, specialized information technology (IT) jobs. Professionals equipped with cybersecurity MBAs qualify for careers in information systems analysis, IT management, and senior executive administration. Employers often seek graduates with cybersecurity MBAs for their unique business and technical skills.

Graduates with cybersecurity MBAs can find jobs in nearly every industry, including healthcare, finance, retail, and government. Potential roles include information security analyst, cybersecurity engineer, cybersecurity advisor, or project manager.

Cybersecurity is a growing field. For example, information security analysts can expect a 33% increase in employment from 2020-2030, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals make a median annual salary of $103,590.

What Is an Online MBA in Cybersecurity?

An online MBA in cybersecurity gives learners the tools to build and maintain systems that keep information safe in a digital world. Poor cybersecurity practices can have devastating consequences on businesses. Management professionals with cybersecurity training can help ensure their companies’ long-term success. An online MBA in cybersecurity prepares students to take on those management roles.

An online MBA in cybersecurity is a good option for those interested in the technical side of business and information systems security. Standard MBA coursework builds learners’ managerial skills. Students also learn about current security solutions. They learn to analyze policies, trends, and intelligence to anticipate and react to cyber threats.

Students understand how to make business recommendations based on risk assessments. They can also give recommendations to reduce businesses’ vulnerability to attacks.

Standard coursework for a cybersecurity concentration includes IT risk assessment; cybercrime and cyberterrorism; cloud security; and cybersecurity ethics, laws, and regulations. Core courses include business ethics, finance, marketing, operations management, business communication, and organizational behavior. Most MBA students also complete a capstone project, giving students hands-on experience in the field.

Online MBA programs in cybersecurity offer the same quality education as traditional, on-campus programs. Distance programs add flexibility, however, allowing learners to balance work, family, and education. Online schedules are often highly adaptable, combining synchronous and asynchronous learning.

An online MBA provides you with a solid foundation in business and management, while a focus on cybersecurity puts you in a high-demand field.

What is the Difference Between Cybersecurity and IT?

IT professionals implement new technology to help their organizations grow. They aim to maximize network performance, improve communications, and facilitate information-sharing.

IT security, a subfield of IT, concerns data protection. IT security professionals create and use systems and procedures that protect their organizations’ data, whether physical or digital.

Cybersecurity is more specific than IT security, involving the protection of digital data. Cybersecurity professionals keep attackers from gaining access to networks, computers, programs, and data. Cybersecurity falls within the IT security umbrella.

IT professionals are responsible for programming, networking, and helping users with computer issues. Cybersecurity, on the other hand, focuses solely on protecting data. Cybersecurity requires constant supervision of an organization’s network and data. Where IT is more project-driven, cybersecurity involves ongoing attention.

Cybersecurity jobs require strong technical skills. Professionals in this field often have backgrounds in system administration, networking, software development, and data integrity. Cybersecurity workers protect company assets, personal information, and other sensitive data, entailing a high level of responsibility.

Many cybersecurity professionals pursue undergraduate degrees in IT, computer science, and other technical subjects. An MBA is not necessary to work in this field. However, professionals who want to pursue entrepreneurship within the IT space may benefit from an online MBA in IT or cybersecurity.

An MBA teaches learners to understand organizations’ goals. These goals impact how organizations handle data. MBAs also empower students to manage teams handling sensitive information. Because MBA programs include courses on leadership, graduates are equipped to build strong, trustworthy teams of people they can count on to keep their organizations’ data safe.

What Jobs Will an Online MBA in Cybersecurity Prepare Me For?

If you determine that cybersecurity is the field for you, an online MBA in the subject can qualify you for a variety of options. Consider the following careers for graduates holding an online MBA in cybersecurity:

Chief Information Security Officer
CISOs are at the senior level of security for their organizations. These professionals oversee all development, implementation, and maintenance of security processes.
Forensics Expert
Forensic experts are sometimes called information security crime investigators. They investigate cyberattacks, finding any clues from attackers and system flaws that allowed the attack to happen.
Lead Software Security Engineer
Lead software security engineers head up security engineering teams. They analyze risk and develop software to keep data safe.
Penetration Tester
Penetrations testers find vulnerabilities in their organizations’ networks.
Security Architect
Security architects analyze threats and recommend solutions. They train staff on policies and install security measures like VPNs and firewalls.

Any organization with a strong online presence needs equally solid cybersecurity. Such organizations include large corporations like Amazon and Target, social networks like Twitter and Facebook, financial institutions, universities, and tech companies.

An online MBA in cybersecurity provides insight into the technical side of business and information systems security. These learners also glean business and managerial skills from the core MBA curriculum. Learned skills may include:

  • Business ethics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations management
  • Business communication
  • Organizational behavior
  • Security solutions
  • Policy analysis
  • Trends
  • Responses to cyber threats
  • Risk assessments

Online information systems have become the standard for everyday practices. For that reason, more and more organizations are storing their information digitally. This creates an increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals.

With an online MBA in cybersecurity, you may be a source of knowledge and skills that employers find valuable.

Will Employers Care if My Cybersecurity MBA Program Was Online?

Prospective students might wonder what employers think of online MBAs. Fortunately, online MBAs commonly carry as much weight as their on-campus counterparts.

As online education becomes more common, employers are less likely to see an online MBA in cybersecurity as inferior to a traditional one. In most cases, employers cannot even tell whether a candidate earned their degree online or in person — especially if the degree comes from a university with a brick-and-mortar campus.

To ensure your online MBA is worth it, make sure to choose a properly accredited program. MBA accreditation involves both regional and subject-specific entities. Regional accreditation applies on a school-wide basis and comes from the following organizations:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

If your school of choice is regionally accredited, make sure its business school and/or MBA program holds programmatic accreditation as well. Subject-specific accreditors include:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education

As long as your online MBA in cybersecurity is fully accredited, employers should value it as much as they would an on-campus MBA.


Featured Image: Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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