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Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity and I.T. professionals to forefront

University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping meet demand with online master’s programs

The demand for qualified cybersecurity and information technology management professionals was already high prior to COVID-19, but nine months into the pandemic, the talent shortage is even more acute.

With employees across the nation working from home since the start of the pandemic, the number of cybersecurity incidents has nearly doubled and the need for trained IT managers who can create and maintain IT solutions to meet ever-expanding needs has grown substantially.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior is uniquely poised to help meet this need with the introduction of two premier 100-percent online programs. The university has joined with several UW System institutions and UW Extended Campus to offer an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and an online Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership.

These programs are unique in that they are taught by expert faculty selected from throughout the UW System, and are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

"In UW Cybersecurity, we are all about hands-on learning," said Praneet Tiwari, UW Master of Science in Cybersecurity program instructor and president and owner of PraVal Inc., an IT solutions company.

"Students not only learn cybersecurity concepts, but also apply them through the use of our virtual lab.”

Master’s in Cybersecurity

The M.S. in Cybersecurity program was designed with input from industry experts and includes 12 courses, 34-credit curriculum. Students in the M.S. in Cybersecurity program choose from four unique tracks of study:

Digital Forensics: Uses scientific investigation methods to collect, preserve, and analyze data stored on electronic media so that it can withstand legal review. Students in this track study computer criminology, network forensics and learn digital evidence investigation techniques.

Cyber Response: An organized approach to monitoring, detecting and responding to security events through each stage of their lifecycle. Students learn about security infrastructure, incident remediation and active defense techniques.

Governance and Leadership: Provides a framework for mitigating risk by assuring that information security strategies align with business objectives and are consistent with relevant laws and regulations. Courses include security administration, leadership and cybersecurity management.

Security Architecture: Responsible for system confidentiality, integrity, and availability in relation to an enterprise’s overall system architecture and security process. Students study modern cryptography, the foundations of engineering secure applications, cyber-physical systems, and secure cloud computing.

Master’s in IT Leadership

The M.S. in Information Technology Management brings business and technology together to prepare students for leadership roles in virtually any industry.

Students learn to plan, strategize and lead IT functions and projects for organizations of all types and sizes. Curriculum includes courses in finance, project management, data science, enterprise security, cloud computing and more.

The program is designed for working professionals, with no on-campus meetings or requirements or need to be online at specific times for classes, and opportunities for interaction with faculty and fellow students via online discussion boards.

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