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MBA/EMBA programmes for future cybersecurity leaders

SOURCE: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP
An MBA in cybersecurity graduates professionals capable of bridging the gap between business management and digital safety.


By U2B Staff 

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Some of the most prominent business schools in the world have made it a point to add digital skills to their programme. With technology rapidly advancing and cyber-attacks becoming increasingly high-profile, digital security skills have become increasingly crucial. That said, cybersecurity is no longer just a boardroom issue.

There is currently a shortage of cybersecurity experts with the technical know-how to effectively keep businesses safe online. At the same time, management executives with the skills to combat cyberattacks and are well-versed with tech lingo are also in need.

How can someone acquire a qualification that will allow them to lead as a manager and an expert in preventing cyber-attacks? An MBA or EMBA in cybersecurity is the only way to go. 

Cybersecurity MBAs hold a versatile qualification that can open doors to more than one role within an organisation. These individuals are equipped with the capabilities to bridge the gap between managerial concerns, business disciplines, and cybersecurity. If you are interested in gaining the knowledge, these programmes are worth considering:

IE Business School

At IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, cybersecurity is taught in a most innovative way. Rather than establishing a standalone MBA programme in the subject, the school offers its full-time International MBA students a digital business and innovation class in which professor Jose Esteves hacks into the accounts of his own students to show them how easy it is. IE also established a cutting-edge standalone Master in Cybersecurity, which students can pair with an MBA. 

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George Washington University, GW School of Business

The GW School of Business in Washington, DC, offers a World Executive MBA in Cybersecurity, which is a programme that runs in partnership with the business school and George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Within just 16-months, students will delve into global cybersecurity strategy, policy, law and become familiar with the full range of digital threats and the hackers behind them. 

American University (AU), Kogod School of Business

Accredited by AACSB International, the school runs an Online MBA in cybersecurity, providing students with flexibility, so they do not have to quit their jobs and forgo a salary to earn the credential. The MBA coordinates with the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center, which provides relevant and valuable research. 

James Madison University, College of Business

James Madison University’s College of Business is also accredited by AACSB. It offers a dedicated Information Security Master of Business Administration that provides students with the business fundamentals but also the technical skills to protect businesses from hackers.

“Within the first semester, the program was providing hands-on, applied experiences to enhance our strategic decision-making skills in cybersecurity,” says graduate Neil Schloth.

University of Oxford, Saïd Business School

The UK school has made it mandatory for full-time MBA students to study a cybersecurity module. The course is taught by professor David Upton, who helped design a board-level cybersecurity course that Oxford also runs. The MBA classes draw on the expertise of Oxford, with its Global Cyber Security Capacity Center, which helps to enhance safety and security in cyberspace for companies and governments. 

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University of South Florida (USF)

AACSB-accredited USF Muma College of Business runs an online MBA with a cybersecurity concentration. The programme is flexible, enabling candidates to finish the degree full-time in just a year and a half, or part-time over three years. The cybersecurity concentration includes a capstone course that focuses on bringing academic theory to life through practical projects. Students also have the option to earn a Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance, alongside the MBA. 

University of Baltimore (UB), Merrick School of Business

UB’s Merrick School of Business runs an online MBA in Cybersecurity and Organisational Resilience Specialisation, which prepares graduates to spot and solve digital data risks. Students can take the course on-campus, online, or through a combination of these formats. In 2018, both CEO Magazine and US News ranked the course as among the best in America. 

University of Dallas – Gupta College of Business

The Yasmin Gupta College of Business also runs an Online MBA with a cybersecurity bent. The cybersecurity courses cover data protection, compliance, legal issues, management, and network security. It stands out for having a rigorous curriculum taught by top-quality faculty: the school is accredited by AACSB and its online MBA is ranked by US News, making it one of the best in the country.