UW System to offer new cybersecurity online master’s degree program

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A new online cybersecurity master’s degree program is coming to the UW System this fall.

The program aims to help stop scams and breaches in cybersecurity– an industry that is on the rise.

“We know that Wisconsin is projecting a nine percent increase in cybersecuity jobs in the next decade,” said Lynn Weiland, the UW-L interim director of extended learning. “Nationwide we know that the projected increase is 13 percent.”

The degree is a part of a collaboration program.

“UW-La Crosse is one of [eight] UW system campuses in the cybersecurity degree and then we all provide a number of different courses for the program,” Weiland said.

Each student will apply to a home-campus and register through that school.

While they graduate with a degree from that specific campus, they will have taken courses offered from each of the collaboration universities.

Each student will also choose which track they want to study.

“The four tracks are Digital Forensics, Cyber Response, Governance & Leadership, and Security Architecture,” said Weiland.

Advisors say the cybersecurity program has already stirred up quite the interest with several students prepared to take classes this fall.

“We already have a number of individuals on a waiting list because we can’t officially register anyone until we have HLC approval,” said Weiland.

The program is 12 courses, 34 credits and offered completely online.

UW-L says they expect most students will be working students with full-time jobs. As a result, the program is designed to be taken at an individual pace.

“It’s very manageable,” Weiland said. “Maybe they’re going to take three courses one semester and one course the next semester.”

The program expects to receive its Higher Learning Commission approval later this spring with anticipated courses starting in fall of 2020.

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