Fairmont State University announces new cybersecurity emphasis for students


FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University will begin offering an emphasis in cybersecurity for the Master of Business Administration program this fall.

The program will prepare early careerists and seasoned managers for cybersecurity leadership roles in the public or private sector, according to Marcus Fisher, assistant professor of Information Systems Management.

“The program strives to be compassionate and understanding to place-bound working adults or off-campus learners by assuring access to excellent online graduate coursework in cybersecurity, which is essential for personal development and key to career advancement,” Fisher said.

The emphasis will be 12 credits online, with lab work concentrating in security operations, assessments and testing; cybersecurity and risk management; big data analysis; and secure systems development.

Students who are in the MBA program can add the emphasis to their degree.

“There were several things that weren’t being done at the academic level, so we took the lead in doing that,” he said. “We are offering it online, but it’s also hands-on with the lab component. Students will learn the concept in a classroom and then actually apply them in a lab setting.

Fisher said the university saw the opportunity to give stakeholders and local government a solution to fill gaps they are seeing in the current industry.

“A significant, distinguishing component to this online area of emphasis is the hands-on experience each student will receive using state-of-the-art laboratories,” Fisher said. “Students conduct hands-on semester projects within the Advanced Security Operations Center, Cyber Range and Digital Forensics laboratories.”

President Dr. Mirta Martin said this prepares the students to go straight into the workforce with the knowledge needed in the industry. It will provide a gateway to advanced careers.

“Offering an emphasis in cybersecurity for the Master of Business Administration is a perfect example of how Fairmont State University has positioned itself to become the provider of choice for an educated workforce for West Virginia and beyond,” President Martin said. “Academic programs like this one ensure that our students not only have the appropriate skill set for vital, in-demand careers of today, but also equip them with the skillset to advance in their careers. And, by offering special options for place-bound students, we’re honoring our commitment to offer a quality, affordable education to all who seek it – not just those who can come to campus.” 

Others can apply as non-degree seeking students to take the 12 credits in order to earn a graduate certificate.

For more information on cybersecurity emphasis, call 800-641-5678.

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