The University of Tulsa’s master of science in cybersecurity online program graduated its first two students in December 2019, and both alumni are using the valuable new graduate degree to enrich their careers and contribute to Oklahoma’s security industry.
The MS online cybersecurity degree is designed for today’s working professional who is interested in taking his or cyber career to new heights. The entire curriculum is offered online but students have the option to attend a week of immersive courses on campus, involving hands-on training with faculty. Students can complete the flexible program in 24 months while continuing their full-time job responsibilities.
What distinguishes TU’s online cyber graduate degree from similar programs is the fact that courses are taught by nationally respected cybersecurity experts who have earned the highest degrees in their field. These specialists regularly engage in critical research projects on a global scale while ensuring online students receive the same level of quality instruction as those students learning in a traditional classroom setting.
Jon Clemenson works for 10th Magnitude in Tulsa, a company that helps organizations establish and manage their IT infrastructures using Microsoft’s public cloud, Azure. “We cost effectively manage, operate and secure our customer’s infrastructure in Azure.” he explained.
Clemenson served 11 years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and earned his undergraduate degree from Park University, a satellite campus for military students in Parkville, Missouri. When he learned of TU’s online graduate program, he took advantage of the opportunity to glean expertise from the faculty. “Some of the classes were technical and others took a more general approach to the security field,” Clemenson said. “The psychology courses led by Professor Brummel involved an interesting perspective on the field of cybersecurity and provided an opportunity to align technical topics with business priorities.”
After more than a decade of military service that prepared him for a career on the “outside” through leadership experiences and solid technical training, Clemenson said his TU education was icing on the cake. “I want to use my master’s degree as a springboard to keep learning, collaborate with others in the community, grow professionally.” he stated. “Cybersecurity is my passion and where I want to focus in the future.”
Aaron Arneson was hired as a U.S. Air Force civilian employee at Tinker A.F.B. in Oklahoma City after completing his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He said TU’s cyber education designations from the National Security Agency were appealing, and the convenient online curriculum fit his busy work schedule. “I enjoyed the interactive labs where faculty provided virtual machines for hands-on learning,” Arneson explained.
Responsive professors and the weeklong summer courses offered on campus highlighted his TU experience, allowing him to focus on penetration testing, vehicle security and cyber operations using the university’s closed Institute for Information Security (iSEC) network. “Professor Moore added an economic factor to our perspective of cybersecurity, and I’d never considered or encountered that before,” Arneson said. “I have a couple of cybersecurity certifications, and this degree helped me reinforce that foundational information. It’s a great program that introduces ways to look at cybersecurity in a different light.”