By Drew Robb
Getting an MBA these days may not be enough in a challenging job market. Many are finding that a master’s degree must be augmented by a specialization to gain the attention of employers. One of the most in-demand and lucrative options is cybersecurity, a specialty that is offered by Utica College’s online MBA program.
Interest by job-seekers in the fields of cybersecurity has risen sharply in the last two years, says Foote Partners, a research and consulting organization specializing in the information-technology job market. The trend is being fueled by headline-grabbing security breaches at big companies such as JPMorgan & Chase, Sony and Target.
“High-profile hacks have pushed corporate boards and senior business executives to admit they have not been adequately staffing information security departments for decades,” said Ted Lane, an analyst at Foote Partners. “They’re now prepared to take data threats more seriously because these threats are broadening to many industries. Cyber hackers are focusing on not just highly monetized breaches, but ones that can intentionally inflict damage to brands and endanger the future of the entire company.”
Glut of MBAs
When unemployment jumped during the 2008 recession, the enrollment in MBA programs surged, as college graduates sought to burnish their resumes in a weak job market. Yet many graduates found that, even armed with an MBA, jobs were hard to come by because of an abundance of qualified job-seekers.
Since then, universities have adjusted their online master’s programs to include areas of specialization focused on market needs. Utica College, for instance, has taken this a step further with a complete re-design of the traditional MBA with a modern, real-world approach. This flexible online MBA with blended learning options, is based on a numbers-driven, results-oriented integration of key business functions, coupled with in-demand specializations relevant to the career field.
Cybersecurity is one of Utica’s most popular specializations, offered by the school because of the glaring need for graduates with a background in that field. Case in point: Seventy large companies and organizations surveyed by Verizon for its 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report documented 80,000 security incidents leading to more than 2,000 serious breaches in one year alone. Those organizations are desperate for managers who are familiar with security technology. Foote Partners has noted a big increase in pay premiums for IT security specialties.
Some of the hottest jobs in the security field include the following:
Chief Security Officer
Just as companies have chief executive officers, chief information officers and chief financial officers, the growing threat posed by Internet breaches has given rise to the position of chief security officers. The average salary for a CSO is $113,000 1. CSO develop contingency plans, manage breaches, supervise security procedures and protocols, and ensue compliance with regulations and security policies.
Cybersecurity analysts make an average salary of $110,000 2. On the job functions consist of planning and analyzing computer networks and systems. Analysts originate solutions to detect and prevent hackers from stealing critical information or shutting down networks.
Cyber Policy Advisor
As a cyber policy advisor, you will understand how to legally and ethically deal with sensitive data and information in a variety of applications, names and settings. Salaries start at around $100,0002.
A security architect is responsible for the design of the security perimeter that protects the network. The average salary is $109,7943.
Information Systems Security Manager
Information systems security managers develop systems and software to recover lost or stolen data. IT pay consultancy Robert Half Technology estimates the median annual salary is over $100,000 per year3.
For more information on Utica’s specialized online MBA programs, visit http://programs.online.utica.edu/programs/mba
1. Chief Security Officers (CSO)