Yes, the risk of a recession is prompting businesses to slow or freeze hiring to cut costs; however, technology will remain a pretty safe sector to work in as it has been for decades. With technological integration on the rise across fields, 2023 will especially favour those capable of ensuring organisations stay safe from data breaches, cyberattacks and online threats. There’s never been a better place to learn the ropes than at Western Michigan University (WMU).
Here, interactive training, real-world projects, and security-related certifications equip students with the required skills and knowledge to enter the workforce as competent cybersecurity professionals. This is precisely what Pratap Reddy had in mind when he decided to leave India for an all-American study abroad excursion.
Reddy was already thriving as a network security engineer in his home country when he realised his calling to lead. “My long-term goal is to become a chief information security officer,” he says. “I believe WMU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity will help me achieve my goals since the courses offered aptly align with the real-time needs of professional organisations.”
The relevance Reddy speaks of is credited to the fact that this MS programme was designed from the ground up with the advice of industry professionals. “We didn’t take a pre-existing programme in computer science or computer information systems and add security content,” says Lecturer of Computer Science Jason Johnson. “We analysed the professional landscape and learning objectives of some of the most sought-after professional certifications and created a programme designed to meet the needs of the industry.”
The robust postgraduate programme teaches the advanced application of cybersecurity principles and concepts derived from real threats. There are also countless opportunities to explore skillsets in communication, project management and collaboration—all of which senior leaders need to champion optimum efficiency.
Those fresh out of high school are welcome to begin their journey with the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This programme helps build cybersecurity skills and knowledge through interactive course content and projects. The combination ensures graduates will be able to gain intellectual growth as well as awareness and understanding of social and ethical issues in this dynamic field. They can also expect to confidently design, implement and evaluate strategies while communicating effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
Both of WMU’s cybersecurity programmes are comprehensive enough to prepare graduates for various roles, especially since they are jointly offered by the Haworth College of Business and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, —ensuring students achieve interdisciplinary versatility. These colleges and their experts are working closely to develop a new generation of security analysts, cybersecurity managers, secure software developers, cybersecurity specialists, threat hunters, penetration testers, cloud security analysts, network administrators, cybersecurity consultants, and many more.
The best part? Both programmes are accessible. “Our classes are offered in both online and in-person formats,” says Johnson. “The in-person option allows international students to fulfil their visa requirements while still being able to interact with domestic and international online students. Alternatively, international students who wish to remain in their home countries can take the online option. Our cybersecurity programmes were designed to accommodate whatever situation you find yourself in.”
It’s little wonder why WMU is experiencing a great deal of growth when it comes to international student enrolment. Online or on campus, they fit right in. By learning alongside an array of future cybersecurity professionals, students gain exposure to new cultures while growing a network sure to come in handy in the future. Many of these connections are forged both within and beyond the classroom.“Our programmes have an active and growing student organisation, the Bronco Cybersecurity Club, that welcomes both domestic and international undergraduate and graduate students,” says Professor of Business Information Systems Dr. Alan Rea.
“The organisation participates in both technical competitions and service-oriented learning, providing its members with connections in the community and with industry partners. The social connections in the programme are very strong, and many students develop friendships with classmates quickly.”
If you’re ready to build a network of your own while learning to master the frameworks and tools to detect vulnerabilities and ensure information security, click here to learn more about WMU’s dynamic cybersecurity degrees.