One of the best things about our generation is how multi-talented we are; we’re makers, creators, and hustlers with side projects and passions we bring to life.   Combine our talents for outside-the-box thinking with the technology boom happening across the US, and we’re primed to create some of the most innovative solutions in tech.

The problem is, while there will be an anticipated 6 million jobs in IT fields like cyber security available by 2019, there is a massive shortage in CS professionals. And with all those tech advancements spilling out of the last decade, companies and intelligence agencies need skilled people to protect them from cyber attacks and analyze potential threats.


But the thought of going back to school can be daunting, especially if you don’t have any IT training (hands up, liberal arts majors). But like we said: when our generation puts our minds to something, we get it done. Whether you’ve got a B.A. in Philosophy or a B.S. in Math, if you’re working full time or focusing on your side gig, here are 11 reasons you’ll want to get your Masters of Science in Cyber Security at Mercyhurst this fall.

1. It Pays


With a starting, first-year salary averaging just north of $58k, you’ve got potential to head into the 6-figure realm. That kind of extra cheddar could really help fuel your thrifting hobby.

2. There’s no GRE required

Hate standardized testing? You’re in luck. This program doesn’t require GRE scores, making it perfect for students who don’t want to waste time and money taking another (biased and problematic) test.

3. It’s online


We’re multi-tasking pros accustomed to a digital-facing world, so why would we trek all the way to campus? Classes are all online and give you flexibility to work around your unpredictable schedule.

4. You’ll learn to hack


We’ve all seen the spy movies where the hacker breaks into the government data base at the last minute to save the day. It’s kind of like that, but less glam.

5. There is a *ton* of opportunity

Jobs in CS are growing fast (approximately 6 million by 2019, if you’re just joining our program), and they need professionals ASAP.  When you graduate, you’ll be prepared to hit the market running.

6. The new state-of-the-art facility

(/Keyman Asefi)

Mercyhurst recently partnered with Cleveland-based tech company MCPc to build a cutting-edge cyber security network operation center, taking the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences to a whole new level. Here, you’ll learn from professional analysts working on real problems, and get experience working in collaboration with companies and government agencies

7. You Won’t Have to Quit Your Day Job


It takes just two years and 36 credits to wrap this degree up, and you’ll never take more than one class at a time. So it’s perfect if you already have a full time gig, are juggling a couple kids at home, or are working hard on your side project.

8. It’s Straight-Forward

This style of work is easier to evaluate than most other fields, which is perfect for the data-driven straight-shooter. It also makes it easier to identify benchmarks when it comes to asking for that raise.

9. You’ll do “good” work


You’ll be on the front lines of defense, thwarting thieves and attackers seeking to incite chaos on the internet. It feels good to help safeguard organizations, networks and individuals—and their personal data—from cyber attacks.

10. It’s not just for IT folks

In a cutting-edge program like this, you might think an IT background is required, but that’s not the case! All majors are welcome to apply, and no previous programming or coding experience is needed. Coursework will introduce you to all the IT skills you’ll need for a successful cyber career. That arts degree will definitely come in handy when imagining creative solutions difficult problems.


11. There’s no other program like it

Mercyhurst’s Ridge College is regarded as the top university-level intelligence school in the country, with grads working in all 17 federal intelligence agencies. No other cyber program offers opportunities to learn from leading intel and cyber professionals. Mercyhurst’s F.W.Hirt Erie Insurance Risk Management Program is also uniquely positioned to combine cyber and insurance in its Cyber Risk Management program.

Ready to start? Registration ends August 18th, but that’s plenty of time to start your journey towards learning a cutting-edge (and pretty cool) new skill.

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Created in Partnership with Mercyhurst University


Kelly Arbogast is a Pittsburgh-based writer, web designer, and content creator exploring the intersection of culture and technology.  

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
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