NSU School of Business adds concentrations in entrepreneurship, cyber security


Two new concentrations in Northwestern State University’s School of Business have been approved by the university’s Curriculum Review Committee, according to chairperson Lillie Frazier Bell.

A concentration in entrepreneurship will be available as part of the bachelor’s in business administration along with a cyber security concentration under the bachelor’s in computer information systems this fall.

“We are so excited about this new initiative for our School of Business as it addresses student and external demands to have this concentration offered,” Dr. Carmella Parker, coordinator of special projects and outreach and assistant professor. “The entrepreneurship concentration is designed to help students become aware of and knowledgeable about entrepreneurial opportunities here in Louisiana. Currently, there is a need for our region to develop businesses as the area looks to expand economic development and opportunities for our students.”

Parker said the courses within the concentration are a step towards developing a synergy between NSU and the economic region that could support the creation of new enterprises and enhance existing companies which may have positive impacts on our regional business community.

Courses include small business entrepreneurship, principles of investments, financial statement analysis, purchasing and supply chain management, management of electronic business, consumer behavior, and interactive marketing. These classes provide in-depth analysis of what an entrepreneur may need to be successful in starting a business. This concentration is in addition to existing concentrations in management, marketing, finance, international business and business analytics.

The cyber security concentration will go along with existing concentrations in application development, networking & systems management, web development and core programming.

Students pursuing the cyber security concentration will still complete all general education, business, and CIS classes common to all concentrations.  However, they will also take eight specific classes designed to enhance their skills in the cyber security area, according to coordinator of computer information systems Curtis Penrod.

“At the NSU School of Business, our faculty try to ensure we are staying connected to industry needs,” said Penrod. “This concentration is another example of where we are attempting to teach our students the skills they need to be successful in the workplace of tomorrow.  As many people know, security in information technology has been a key issue in recent years.  We want our students to graduate and utilize their skills to help organizations protect their information systems.”

Those eight classes in the concentration are essentials of network design & hardware, telecommunications & networks, certified ethical hacking, introduction to servers, enterprise operating systems, secure programming principles, introduction to information security, and cyber forensics.  When taking these classes, students will earn certifications that prove their expertise in this area.

Penrod said students graduating with a bachelor’s in CIS with a concentration in cyber security will earn the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Net+, CompTIA Server+, and CompTIA Security+.  Graduates will be prepared to pursue occupations such as information security analyst.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupation is forecasted to grow 28% between 2016 and 2026 with almost 30,000 jobs being added nationally in the coming years.

For more information on programs in the School of Business, go to business.nsula.edu.