Rivier University Will Offer Cybersecurity MBA Program

New Hampshire's Rivier University will offer a cybersecurity leadership program starting in May 2024, reflecting increased demand for cybersecurity professionals across the country.
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Updated on November 16, 2023
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  • Rivier University in New Hampshire is offering a master of business administration (MBA) degree program in cybersecurity leadership.
  • School officials underscored high demand for cybersecurity professionals in the workforce.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects rapid growth in cybersecurity jobs over the next decade.
  • Applications are open for the program, which will debut in May 2024.

With cybersecurity jobs set to skyrocket over the next decade, more business schools are incorporating the high-demand field into their business curricula.

Rivier University, a private university in New Hampshire, is the latest school to incorporate cybersecurity with a master of business administration (MBA) degree. The Rivier MBA in cybersecurity leadership program will launch in May 2024, school officials announced in a Nov. 7 press release.

"Cybercrimes and malware cost companies millions of dollars and oftentimes threaten their survival," Chari Henry-Wilson, Rivier's director of graduate business programs, said in the release.

"Organizations' increasing use of technology makes the defense of their data and computer systems crucial to ongoing operations. Rivier's new MBA in Cybersecurity Leadership will develop and support practitioners and leaders in the field to advance digital protections, cybersecurity strategies, and the use of emerging technologies."

The cybersecurity leadership MBA reflects the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' meteoric growth projections for the field. Information security analysts had a May 2022 median salary of $112,000 per year, and that occupation is projected to grow by 32% from 2022-2032, according to the BLS.

The new Rivier MBA program aims to prepare graduates for leadership positions in that field.

Russ Norris, director of security programs at Rivier, said outdated and vulnerable cybersecurity infrastructure is contributing to the demand from businesses.

"It's not just about data breaches; today, hackers can cause catastrophic events," Norris said in the release. "There is a vital need for educated, highly trained leaders in the field."

MBA degrees, which have traditionally covered a wide range of business topics to prepare graduates for career advancement, can lead to a hefty return on investment. As demand for tech skills from employers ramps up, an increasing number of business schools are integrating those fields into their MBA curricula.

Cybersecurity, information technology, and data analytics are all popular MBA concentrations. A growing number of schools are revamping their curricula to include those STEM-related fields. Those emerging and fast-growing areas are in high demand from students as well as employers.

Many schools have sought science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) designations for their MBA programs, including the University of North Carolina Wilmington, which announced earlier this year that its MBA concentrations earned a STEM designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The school was the third within the University of North Carolina system to receive an MBA STEM designation.

"Academic programs must change and innovate to meet the career needs of students and the workplace needs of businesses," University of North Carolina Wilmington Cameron School of Business Dean Rob Burrus said in a release at the time.

"After adapting to the needs of career-minded adults in moving our MBA to an online format, our faculty have moved tirelessly toward providing our graduates with the analytical skills necessary for businesses to succeed in the global economy." 

The Rivier cybersecurity leadership MBA program is designed to be completed in one or two years. Classes will be led by industry experts, according to the release, and will be offered in person and online. Applications are now open for the 2024 summer semester.

The school is also offering a new 4+1 program to allow students to receive their computer science or cybersecurity undergraduate degrees, as well as their master's degree, in only five years.