The University of Arizona has launched a new online master’s degree program in cybersecurity just as a new report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the cyber crime epidemic will triple the number of open cybersecurity positions over the next five years. 

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity curriculum draws from the UA’s top-ranked Eller Management Information Systems, or MIS, program, as well as the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Systems & Industrial Engineering programs. Professionals who want to gain technical mastery in this rapidly growing field will learn from faculty members who are renowned for their expertise. 

Paulo Goes, dean of the Eller College of Management, said the online master’s in cybersecurity is one of several programs that the college offers — or is planning to launch — to prepare professionals for becoming leaders in several aspects of the digital business world. 

“Cybercrime costs are expected to jump to $3 trillion by 2021,” Goes said. “Companies are scrambling to find qualified candidates who can excel at providing cyberdefenses. By creating an innovative curriculum in partnership with the College of Engineering, our students will engage in conceptual and hands-on approaches to learn the critical components of cybersecurity, including security intelligence analytics and data mining, information security, risk management, systems security management, vulnerability analysis, penetration testing, network security, system cybersecurity engineering and cyberwarfare.”

Two tracks are available: information systems and physical systems. Both focus on applying analytical and critical thinking to plan and execute security measures to shield computer systems, networks and networked devices from infiltration and cyberattacks. 

“Cybersecurity, both personal and national, is one of the critical issues of our time, and this program links two leading UA colleges to give students the technical and business knowledge to design and protect systems,” said Jeff Goldberg, dean of the College of Engineering. “Much of our current research, in areas like autonomous transportation, power grid control and the online economy, is geared toward building confidence and reliability in cybersystems.”

Students also will benefit from earning a degree with global clout. According to the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best Graduate Schools edition released in March, Eller’s MIS program is ranked No. 2 among public programs in the U.S. 

The 33-credit program, available 100 percent online, is ideal for professionals who have three years of technical work experience in IT, engineering and other related fields and want to boost their skills for a cybersecurity career path. 

“A cybersecure America requires a full pipeline of emerging talent ready to support our nation’s most complex challenges,” said Cheryl Whitis, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of information technology and member of the UA’s MIS advisory council. “Raytheon applauds and supports this extension of cybersecurity education from the University of Arizona. Our company, along with its business and technology partners, will need successive generations of cybersecurity talent to help us secure customer environments, as well as address new business opportunities throughout government and commercial cybermarkets.” 

The UA program offers flexible scheduling, with six admission dates throughout the year. The deadline to apply for the first fall class is Aug. 7. 

To learn more, visit