New cybersecurity degree comes to campus


Cennedy Hoppe, Business & Technology Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is offering a new degree of cybersecurity in the College of Business and Economics. This degree is an extension of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Information and Technology, and offers an emphasis on networking and security. All together the new program will provide both a major and minor, as well as three emphases. Validation was made of this program by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, (CAE). The students graduating from this program will receive a CAE-CD Program of Study certificate. The CAE-CD Program is advocating for community outreach and leadership roles. Collaborating with a business that serves the community is necessary for a successful application. 

This degree is helpful for those who are primarily interested in government or industry leader positions, despite other optional careers. And can provide professional positions in which the yearly salary could range from $89,000 to $133,000. 

“This new degree will serve the needs of students who aspire to learn cybersecurity thoroughly and play important roles for ensuring security of companies, governments, and organizations,” Dr. Jiazhen Zhou, Chair of Computer Science Dept. at UW-W includes.

Government officials and industry leaders use professional individuals to protect important infrastructures in businesses. The demand for these workers is going up and out, unfortunately there is a skills gap which hinders the hiring process. With this CAE-CD program, it sets standards for the cybersecurity curriculum. Which means, this program as well as the CAE, is developing this program to close the skills gap in order to help the job demand crisis. And although the graduates will be entering a particularly high-demand field, this major will take them one step forward in the right direction to further their professional possibilities. In Wisconsin alone there are 4,664 job openings currently that relate to this field. 

This program provides three emphases on the major, one in particular is called the Cyber Operations emphasis. This emphasis allows students who have an Information Technology associate’s degree, a smooth transfer from a 2-year college to a 4-year university. 

“In collaboration with those technical colleges, UW-Whitewater can provide a career pathway in cybersecurity for residents in Wisconsin.” Zhou happily comments about the new degree. 

This program entails involvement of faculty and course work from the departments of computer science, mathematics, and sociology. As well as colleagues in the department of Information Technology and the university’s business college. Coursework for the degree entails intro to cybersecurity, intrusion detection, information assurance and security, statistics, discrete mathematics, programming, cryptography, and network/computer systems security. This program is becoming available as soon as Dec. of 2021 and will be available until 2026 and can be renewed upon review. 

To learn more about this degree you can contact your academic advisor, refer to the coursebook, or contact Dr. Jiazhen Zhou here at UW-Whitewater.