The University of Wisconsin-Superior will offer a master's degree in cybersecurity starting this fall that will be offered completely online.

The degree had been in the works before the pandemic sent many home to continue their work and classes online, leading to an increase in cyber threats and attacks. That reality, along with a significant shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, is why UWS is excited to help meet workforce demands, according to a news release.

Maria Cuzzo, interim provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs, said UWS is excited to partner with UW Extended Campus in offering the degree.

“Our high-quality academic experts have been leaders in developing this graduate program that will support students in high-demand jobs," Cuzzo said. "The field of cybersecurity is expanding rapidly, and it is a great opportunity for UW-Superior to contribute to this growth.”

After completing their core courses in the program, students will choose the tract they want to take: digital forensics, cyber response, governance and leadership, and security architecture.

The new online degree is a collaboration among eight UW campuses, meaning students will take courses taught by faculty from various campuses.

Last year, there were nearly 5,000 cybersecurity job openings in Wisconsin and more than 8,000 in Minnesota, according to cyberseek.org.