Nelson Baker, Dean of Professional Education at Georgia Tech, in conversation with Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, shared his view on the Master of Science in Cybersecurity online degree (OMS Cybersecurity), which was announced in the fall on edX and whose first cohort of students will start this January.
Intended for thousands of working professionals with full-time jobs and family commitments who are unable to attend on-campus classes, this degree, offered at a tuition of less than $10,000, follows the groundbreaking online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS), and Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics). Diploma, curriculum, content, rigor, and requirements are the same as the residential program.
- “It includes collaborative tools to enable learners to interact with each other, with their instructors, and with their course content, which is crucial to the online learner experience. The students build powerful learner communities and professional networks by collaborating on the official forum, as well as by using unofficial tools such as Slack or Google Forums.”
- “These degrees offer more than content at-scale. They also offer networks at-scale that allow 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.”
- “Our online degrees-at-scale can also open doors for new graduates that may normally be closed to them.”
- Students in the on-campus M.S. in Cybersecurity are traditional graduate students, who recently completed an undergraduate degree, while the learners taking the OMS Cybersecurity are mainly working professionals. Ninety-seven percent of the applicants admitted to the OMS Cybersecurity program are already employed, and a third of them already have graduate degrees. They range from 20 years old to 72 years old and represent 27 countries. The majority of applicants come from the U.S. with a third of them coming from Georgia.”
- “The main reason we’re able to offer this program at this price point is the massive online delivery technology that enables us to serve large numbers of qualified students from all over the world. Also, while there is no difference in the degree requirements or academic rigor between the on-campus and online degrees, we offer fewer elective choices in the OMS Cybersecurity to keep costs down. Another reason for the significantly reduced cost of the online degree is that online students don’t require the physical infrastructure and amenities needed by on-campus students.”