New online majors go cyber

Instructional design and cybersecurity majors to be offered in fall semeste

Calahan Steed, Journalist

Are you a student looking for a potential new major?

Two online degrees will be offered for the fall 2020 semester at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The two new programs will involve cybersecurity and instructional design as masters programs.

“The big impact is actually external to here. There’s such a huge need in this area, and not only across the state of Wisconsin but everywhere. It’s just our ability to train up folks in this space so we can solve these problems,” said Dean of the College of Business and Economics, John Chenoweth, on the impact of cybersecurity.

Institutions across the nation are focused on stepping up cybersecurity as data breaches of information occur. UW-Whitewater will be one of the first Wisconsin schools to offer a program in cybersecurity. Jiazhen Zhou, Associate Professor of Computer Science, knows cybersecurity is a growing profession and UW-Whitewater can help field job candidates in the area.

“Cybersecurity is a high demanding area and we have a very strong team on campus,” said Associate Professor of Computer Science, Jiahzen Zhou, on UW-Whitewater’s ability to catter to the growing industry.

Jiazhen Zhou believes the master’s program can attract students interested in the topic or those looking for employment.

“Maybe you are just interested in this area and it gives you a chance to get into this area, but for others this is definitely a very good job opportunity,” says Zhou.

The instructional design program will be part of the College of Education and Professional Studies.    

This will allow professionals to remain working and learn training across different industries. Completion of the program will allow students to find positions in such roles as  instructional design specialist, learning experience designer and a learning technology consultant.

Junior Annmarie Lavorata understands the importance for UW-Whitewater to offer new programs for students.

“It’s so important so you can give more opportunities to people,” said Lavorata.

To earn a master’s degree, students will have to complete certificates in three areas between Foundations of Learning Design, Producing Effective Learning Experiences, Emerging Technology for Digital Learning, and Leadership in Instructional Design and Learning Technology. Students will also have to complete a three-credit capstone experience.

Lavorata also sees the benefits the training and learning will have on people entering the field.

“There are so many jobs people can go into and getting a wider spread of degrees creates and makes new jobs for people,” says Lavorata.

Chenoweth believes the area of analytics and cybersecurity will continue to grow with the demand. He is excited for the growth of more master’s programs in the College of Business and Economics.

“We will have a proposal in front of the board of regents probably in April for a new masters in business analytics so we added an undergraduate degree in business analytics in the fall and now we’re back with a masters,” says Chenoweth.

UW-Whitewater currently offers over 50 majors and 119 minors for students to choose from. UW-Whitewater is ranked as one of the best in the nation for online degrees.