Thursday October 14, 2010

Job-ready for Cybersecurity

The University of Dayton MBA concentration in cybersecurity prepares students for the rapidly growing field of protecting information.

If you can keep a secret — or help an organization keep its information secure — there could be a great job out there for you, and the University of Dayton's MBA concentration in cybersecurity management can help you get it.

It's believed to be the only MBA program in the U.S. with a cybersecurity concentration, and is the only university-based cybersecurity program that helps guide qualified graduates through the U.S. government's security clearance process. The three-course sequence can result in a stand-alone certificate or about one-third of MBA course requirements. The sequence next starts in January 2011.

Growing cyberthreats, such as the recently revealed Stuxnet worm, mean that jobs protecting information technology data, systems and networks are expected to continue to be in high demand through 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Prospects for cybersecurity jobs in the federal government are particularly promising, with the Department of Defense alone expected to add 50,000 security experts in the next few years according to Defense Tech, an online source of information about the military.

The University has joined with Advanced Technical Intelligence Center for Human Capital Development (ATIC) of Beavercreek, Ohio to offer the program. The first course in the sequence will be offered on campus; the second and third courses are held at ATIC's state-of-the-art secure training facility in Beavercreek.

"Our program provides students with the education and practical knowledge they need to manage the information security needs of a wide variety of organizations," said Janice Glynn, director of the MBA program. "Through the connections and expertise of ATIC, they get guidance in the security clearance process and tapping into job possibilities."

The sophistication of the facility and the data, gives students a decided edge, according to Hugh Bolton, president and CEO of ATIC.

"We use real data in the classroom and some of it can even be live intelligence data," said Bolton. "The program is very project-oriented and team-oriented in a very real-world way."

The first class in the series is open to students without security classifications. However, the second and third courses contain classified content and are only open to students with government security clearances.

As part of the coursework, students have worked on security risk assessments and developed risk mitigation plans for the networks of several local organizations, said David Salisbury, associate professor of management information systems.  

"This was a very beneficial experience — both for the students and the organizations," Salisbury said. "The students have an opportunity to connect theory and practice, and the organizations received security assessments that in some cases revealed potential vulnerabilities."

Interest in the program has been high, according to Glynn, with inquiries coming from around the country.  

While primarily focused on U.S. government requirements and practices, the certification may also help students obtain private sector jobs where opportunities are growing rapidly, especially in the banking industry.

The Advanced Technical Intelligence Center for Human Capital Development (ATIC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established in 2006 to help fill critical human capital and technological shortfalls within the U.S. intelligence community and related industries.

For more information on the University's cybersecurity concentration contact the MBA office at and 937-229-3733.