Fairmont State to offer Cybersecurity emphasis with Master program

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fairmont State University will begin offering an emphasis in Cybersecurity for the Master of Business Administration program in the fall. 

The program will prepare early careerists and seasoned managers for cybersecurity leadership roles in the public or private sector, Marcus Fisher, assistant professor of Information Systems Management, said. 

“The program strives to be compassionate and understanding to place-bound working adults or off-campus learners by assuring access to excellent online graduate coursework in cybersecurity which is essential for personal development and key to career advancement,” he said. 

The emphasis will be 12 credits online with lab work in the following areas: security operations, assessments and testing; cybersecurity and risk management; big data analysis; and secure systems development. 

“There were several things that weren’t being done at the academic level, so we took the lead in doing that,” he said. “We are offering it online but it’s also hands-on with the lab component. Students will learn the concept in a classroom and then actually apply them in a lab setting. 

Fisher said the University saw the opportunity to give stakeholders and local government a solution to fill gaps they are seeing in the current industry. 

“A significant, distinguishing component to this online area of emphasis is the hands-on experience each student will receive using state-of-the-art laboratories,” Fisher said. “Students conduct hands-on semester projects within the Advanced Security Operations Center, Cyber Range and Digital Forensics laboratories.” 

President Dr. Mirta Martin said this prepares the students to go straight into the workforce with the knowledge needed in the industry. It will provide a gateway to advanced careers. 

“Offering an emphasis in Cybersecurity for the Master of Business Administration is a perfect example of how Fairmont State University has positioned itself to become the provider of choice for an educated workforce for West Virginia and beyond,” President Martin said. “Academic programs like this one ensure that our students not only have the appropriate skillset for vital, in-demand careers of today, but also equip them with the skillset to advance in their careers. And by offering special options for place-bound students, we’re honoring our commitment to offer a quality, affordable to all who seek it – not just those who can come to campus.” 

Students who are in the MBA program are able to add the emphasis to their degree. Others are able to apply as non-degree seeking students to take the 12 credits to earn a graduate certificate.