Fostering Industry Demand for Cybersecurity
When Georgia Tech launched its Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity (OMS Cybersecurity) in 2019 with an inaugural cohort of 250 students, it had one common goal: increase the number of trained and educated cybersecurity professionals in the workforce to meet growing industry demand.
Now in its third year, enrollments have grown 285%, largely surpassing the residential program that has existed on campus since 2002. Even more, it represents a much more dynamic and diverse group of industry professionals. As these interactive charts demonstrate, learners in the program have a global and unique vantage point, with industry specializations in technology, finance, and defense technology and citizenship across 59 countries. Additionally, Asian, Black, and Hispanic student groups are nearly half of the total racial and ethnic program makeup.
While the field of cybersecurity is much narrower than Georgia Tech’s other two online graduate degrees-at-scale, it's not a marginal, specialized program. Instead, its industry-driven, multifaceted nature reflects a global community of cybersecurity professionals leading the way for the industry and the Institute.
In honor of this milestone, we’re looking back on two years of innovative, affordable, and accessible education — and the “hidden students” who are bringing next-generation cybersecurity skills into the workforce.
Developed and operated on an educational delivery system built around the needs of the learner, OMS Cybersecurity combines innovative digital learning experiences with the implementation of relationship and service interactions critical to student success. Additionally, its interdisciplinary curriculum positions learners with the multidimensional knowledge and skills of the modern employer’s workforce, helping to close the skills gap facing the cybersecurity industry today.
As part of Georgia Tech’s groundbreaking trio of Online Master of Science degrees, OMS Cybersecurity is the future of higher education. Uniquely structured on economies of scale, the program is designed by a team of instructional designers, interactive media producers, graphic artists, editors, and simulation experts on a technology ecosystem that provides the same rigor, content, curriculum, and diploma as a residential Georgia Tech program in a radically affordable manner.
Georgia Workforce Development
The cybersecurity workforce pipeline is a critical component of the future of Georgia’s economic and national security posture. Georgia Tech’s online cybersecurity master’s degree, and other efforts led by Georgia Tech, provide enhanced training and teaching for employment in the region.
With its flexible, groundbreaking design, OMS Cybersecurity has shattered barriers to entry, such as cost and time, giving significant access to individuals largely unable to access and/or afford such education before. As a result, 84% of enrolled students are working adults who want to develop deep expertise in cybersecurity without interrupting their careers. This not only increases accessibility, it provides a pathway to address extreme workforce shortages.
Cybersecurity is a dynamic and complex field that demands professionals have not only a high level of technical expertise, but also a broad range of multidisciplinary knowledge and the ability to adapt and grow in an evolving environment. Following the creation of the OMS Cybersecurity degree, the creation of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy brings together the deep level of expertise at Georgia Tech and serves as yet another commitment to meet learners at every stage of their life and career in this high-demand field.
After two years of remarkable growth, OMS Cybersecurity offers more than just content at-scale, it also offers networks at-scale. With students representing more than 630 companies, 45 U.S. states and territories, and 59 countries, the program fosters diversity of thought, allowing learners to build worldwide professional networks that they would not be able to build if they were in a traditional on-campus master’s program. It also increases Georgia Tech's global competitiveness.
Understanding the reality and needs of cybersecurity is interdisciplinary by nature. That’s why the OMS Cybersecurity program is a cross-campus collaboration, spanning three of Georgia Tech’s six colleges, while also making way for the first new academic school at Georgia Tech in a decade – the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy.
Georgia Tech’s approach to online education combines affordable, flexible access with modern pedagogy and world-class instruction. As we have learned from the thousands of students enrolled in our online degrees, this opens new doors to learners around the world, whether they are re-skilling mid-career or jump-starting new careers with one of the most respected graduate degrees in the world.