History of the Cyber Security Degree at Mason

The continued growth of the cyber security industry has led to the growth of the masters in cyber security degree across the country and around the world. For Mason, the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is now in its fifth year.

JP Auffret, previous director of the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems program, and also one of the co-founders of the cyber security degree at Mason says that five years ago most cyber security masters programs were very technical.

“A small group at George Mason’s School of Business began discussing the possibility of starting a cyber security masters program at Mason, but our goal was to take a different route. We wanted to make it a multi-disciplinary program.”

At the time, most of the cyber security programs were targeting primarily information technology students.  Mason wanted to broaden that market. According to Auffret, Mason was one of the first in the country that was a multidisciplinary, mid-career cyber security program. The program was designed to be

  • 40% business and leadership
  • 40% engineering and technical
  • 20% public policy

It proved to be a success. Since 2011, the cyber security degree at Mason has continued to gain popularity.

It appeals to a wide range of individuals. Students from their twenties to sixties attend the program and have a range of experience. Some are CEOs and CIOs, while others are program and project managers. And some are technical individual contributors. This allows for students to have the opportunity to learn from their peers which enhances learning for everyone.

Mason’s cyber security program has seen students come specifically from overseas to attend each year, and following graduation alumni have moved around the country including Silicon Valley. Auffret says there are usually 3-4 companies in cyber security that graduates start each year in a range of industries. Recently, alum Auzzie Brown started RedWolf Cybersecurity, a cyber security company in mortgage banking.

At George Mason, we prepare business executives for the changes in cyber security and the cyber threats that exist today. George Mason’s MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is a cyber security degree providing a path to enhance professionals in the cyber security field and put them at the forefront of addressing cyber security challenges.

This cyber security masters program provides students with the leadership and management expertise needed while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks.  This cross-disciplinary program draws on the expertise of faculty members within the School of Business, School of Public Policy, and Volgenau School of Engineering.

Learn more about Mason’s cyber security management degree.

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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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