Success Stories

WCSU’s 4+1 Cybersecurity M.B.A. welcomes first students in fall 2024; recent bachelor’s degree recipient Tyler Catania is among them

Tyler Catania

Tyler Catania

Tyler Catania is one of those rare individuals who makes decisions based both on facts and instincts. A 2020 graduate of the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Windsor, Catania’s interests have morphed from aerospace engineering to forensics to cybersecurity; so factually, Western Connecticut State University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Cybersecurity seemed like it might be a logical fit.

“I looked at a lot of colleges, and since WCSU is in Connecticut, it made it accessible for me to see my family in Enfield on breaks and weekends,” Catania explained. “Plus, it was extremely affordable, so I could pay for my first two years myself, which would allow me to graduate with little to no debt.”

Catania said he also had heard a lot of good things about WCSU and the AACSB-accredited Ancell School of Business, and when he made a campus visit, he liked its appearance and the sense of community he felt.

After four years successfully working toward his B.B.A. in Cybersecurity, Catania graduated in May 2024. By then, the campus felt like a second home, he had built friendships and enjoyed spending time with friends at WXCI, the campus radio station. So, when Dr. Professor of Management Dr. Mohinder Dugal mentioned to Catania that WCSU was about to offer an M.B.A. with a Cybersecurity component that could be completed in one year as part of a 4+1 program, Catania was intrigued.

“The 4+1 program will enable me to get an M.B.A. in one year if I work hard,” Catania said. “The tuition cost was very appealing, and I already know so many people at WCSU. Everyone from the professors to the staff to President Singh have consistently been nice and accommodating since I’ve been a student here, and it’s a very welcoming community.

“There are a lot of opportunities to meet other students and make friends at events sponsored by the Program Activities Council and other clubs,” Catania added. “There are incredibly helpful offices like AccessAbility Services, and I was amazed to see students working toward next steps after college with the help of the Career Success Center. I did not expect that.”

So, with those facts and experiences to consider, Catania enrolled in what will be the first cohort of WCSU’s 4+1 Cybersecurity M.B.A.

“The program starts in September 2024,” Catania said. “So, I’m taking the prerequisite courses this summer: two Finance classes and one Accounting class. Two of the classes are on-campus and one is online. In the fall, one will be on-campus and three will be online: it’s a good mix of both, especially since I am currently interviewing for technology-related jobs because I recently graduated.”

Asked about his “dream job,” Catania is quick to respond that ultimately, he would love to work at CISCO, which hosts numerous cybersecurity and networking tools. “That would be the ‘big one’ for my career path,” he said. Until then, he would be happy with a job that “uses my business education, like working at an accounting firm on their back-end technology.”

Catania expects to finish his coursework and obtain his M.B.A. in spring or fall 2025, which will allow him to enhance his employment credentials and marketability – and enable him to spend more time on campus enjoying the community he now calls his own.



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