The MBA focused on cybersecurity at Webster: A closer look
As businesses increasingly rely on digital infrastructure for cloud computing, fintech, and artificial intelligence, cyberspace has become a hard-fought battleground. Webster University Leiden Campus’s MBA with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity prepares future leaders to lead teams that mitigate, prevent, and preempt such attacks — and the industry is already booming.
McKinsey values the current cybersecurity market at around $150 billion. This falls massively short of the total possible market. McKinsey predicts that there is room for a potential $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion industry to develop.
Webster University pushes their students to develop the skills that can exploit this opportunity, with a cybersecurity MBA specialization that looks at four key areas:
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- Cybersecurity Infrastructures
- Cybersecurity Law and Policy
- Cybersecurity Threat Detection
With a blend of management courses and a specialization in the tech side of things, cybersecurity programs allow students to bridge the talent gap between tech-minded professionals and managers with a wide scope of leadership skills.
Webster University’s MBA curriculum
To set a basis for the Webster MBA, all students follow the same initial curriculum that can be split into three core sections:
- Value creation for foundation
- Value creation components
- Value creation for practice
Dr. Arie Barendregt, Associate Professor at Webster, is clear that this framework is rewarding, but requires a lot of hard work, as he says, “I’m very demanding. I’m preparing you for a successful career after your MBA, meaning that I’m not only sharing my findings and insights and experience with you guys, but I also expect you to start to work with it.” (01:42)
This gradual construction builds competency and confidence in students before they move on to one of three areas of emphasis. These three specializations are a reflection of the latest trends in the worldwide business environment:
- Dual Degree with MA in Management and Leadership
- MBA with an Emphasis in Project Management
- MBA with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity
An experiential learning environment
However, it’s not just about what you learn, it’s also about how you learn. Dr. Barendregt summarizes how he sees the program, “In a sense, there’s no difference between the outside world and the classroom environment.” (02:18)
It is this thinking that inspires the direction of the cybersecurity focused MBA. Rather than siloing yourself in classrooms studying theory, Webster directs the course to meet current demands of the business world.
While foundational lessons are indeed important, the real difference comes when inspirational faculty can transmit real-life lessons. That’s why such an emphasis is put on applicable lessons from teaching staff who have first-hand experience, as Dr. Barendregt explains, “No less than 90% of all the teachers are coming from practice.” (01:13)
Flexible MBA study options
People choose the MBA for a variety of reasons, but Dr. Barendregt says, “the overriding reason for most students is they want to accelerate their career.” (00:05) As a result, Webster offers a variety of flexible learning options to suit every applicant.
At Webster University Leiden Campus, students can get the classic in-person experience. This option facilitates face-to-face learning, and creates a strong bond between the international student body.
Dr. Barendregt outlines the advantages of this learning style. “This international program entails small classes, meaning up to 15 students, interactive fun classes in which students can easily participate in the contents of the program.” (00:39)
However, if you’ve got a stricter schedule, Dr. Barendregt offers an alternative solution. “You can easily combine the program with a regular job because we also offer evening classes.” (01:04) This is especially effective for intrapreneurs who aim to bring cybersecurity management to the organization they currently work for.
Finally, for those who can’t relocate to the Netherlands, online classes offer a third option. Delivered live or recorded, students can access classes at a time that suits them. The clear advantage of this is that it allows students to study from anywhere in the world, whether they have a full-time job or not.
Far-reaching career options for cybersecurity MBAs
As the Webster MBA with an emphasis in cybersecurity offers strategic management skills as well as information systems security, graduates have a plethora of career directions to choose from. They can use their generalist business skills to enact change in modern organizations looking to implement new practices, and their communication skills can be applied across the board.
However, to really take advantage of the enormous potential of the cybersecurity industry, graduates can head up IT departments in multinational corporations, or even lead their own boutique cybersecurity companies with a vision to grow.
To get an idea of the variety of possible job opportunities, Webster provides a list of typical career pathways:
- Marketing Communications Manager
- Finance Manager
- Director of Cybersecurity
- IT Manager
- Project Manager
- Vice President
- Human Resources Manager
If you want to find out more about Webster University, Leiden Campus, take a look at the dedicated MBAGRADSCHOOLS page on the school.