Niagara University will be offering two new master’s degrees this fall for individuals seeking to advance their careers. Each of these new academic programs has a digital focus: one prepares graduates for in-demand careers in cybersecurity, while the other is designed for individuals seeking an edge in understanding and competing in the digital economy.

The M.S. in information security and digital forensics will equip individuals with the knowledge necessary to obtain a Certified Information Systems Security Management Professional credential, preparing them for jobs in both government and in the private sector.

Students will study utilizing the latest tools, including professional applications in computer and mobile forensics, at Niagara University’s new on-campus information security lab. They will concentrate on network security, ethical hacking, data privacy, and modern cryptography. The ISDF program isn’t intended only for individuals with computer and information sciences degrees, but also for graduate students with backgrounds in criminal justice, nursing, and accounting.

The demand for specialized information security personnel with master’s degrees is on the rise, and data indicates that this field will continue to grow nationwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the information security field will grow at a rate of 18 percent (2014-2024). Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor has outlined a similar growth rate for New York (17.2 percent) during the same period. In Western New York, there is an expected growth of 36.8 percent (2012-2022).

“Information security analyst” ranked fifth on CareerCast’s list of the most in-demand jobs for 2017, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hiring trends and trade statistics, university graduate employment data, and the job search website’s own job listings.

“Information security breaches and threats are on the rise, and it is more important than ever to prepare for such threats,” said Dr. Petter Lovaas, associate professor of computer and information sciences. “One of the key components to improving information security is the ability to find qualified employees with a solid understanding of this relatively new area of vulnerability. It is imperative for universities to develop and sustain academic programs that prepare information security specialists to defend against information breaches.”

NU’s AACSB-accredited College of Business Administration is now offering an online MBA program focusing on business analytics and creative problem solving.

“Business is increasingly conducted in the digital world,” said Dr. Tenpao Lee, interim dean of the college. “This program will allow students to increase their technical and managerial skills, while learning core business knowledge in the context of today’s increasingly digital global economy. It has been constructed to create value for corporate employees as well as small business and entrepreneurial ventures.”

The online MBA program will match the quality and rigor of the university’s on-campus MBA program, which is ranked among the best in the world by CEO Magazine, by adhering to the same admissions standards. Niagara’s highly credentialed faculty and industry experts will teach weekly courses through live online classes and seminars, accessed through an interactive and mobile “online campus.” The design offers the intimacy of an on-campus classroom with the online flexibility sought by today’s MBA students.

Students will be required to attend a two-day residency at Niagara University at the beginning of their first semester. The residency will include an orientation to the program and networking opportunities with fellow students and faculty.

Offering exceptional value at a competitive price, the online MBA program consists of 11 courses and can be completed in two years.

For students who want to take advantage of the exceptional graduate programs available through Niagara University’s College of Business, but prefer to remain in Buffalo, courses are now available at the Alliance Advisory Group headquarters, located at 600 Delaware Ave. Each of the courses held in Buffalo will take five weeks to complete, with classes held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

“We are continuously working to enhance our students’ learning experience in the most innovative, convenient and accessible ways possible,” said Dr. Lee. “The conduit through which we deliver the coursework does not alter our ultimate goal of actualizing our students’ potential to become future leaders and providing them with a competitive edge to outperform their peers.”

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