Online Cybersecurity Master’s Degree

Overview

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Cybercrime and warfare are some of the most severe threats the U.S. faces today. Hackers have the ability to attack millions of people, stealing personal information and committing virtual espionage from all over the world. Cybercrime is also a chief concern for the U.S. government.

“This is the fastest-growing and fastest-changing area of threat that we’re confronting,” Janet Napolitano, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Designed for the working professional, an online master’s degree in cybersecurity can prepare students to prevent and detect cyberattacks. Graduates from the program leave with an understanding of government policies and the nature of Internet threats.

Course Work

Example courses
Cryptography and network security
Cybersecurity threats and defense
Computer networking
Prevention and protection strategies in cybersecurity
Global cybersecurity
Counterterrorism and cyberconflict

Most online cybersecurity master’s degree programs focus on training, access control, evidence collection and business – the skills necessary to protect complicated computer networks.

Students in an online cybersecurity master’s degree program complete core course work in computer networking, network security, cryptography, application security, operating systems and information security and privacy. Students learn to address network outages, harmful viruses and data comprised by hackers.

Some online cybersecurity programs offer students the opportunity to specialize in fields such as intelligence, computer forensics, cyberoperations and information security analysis, among others. Programs that are focused on technology may require students to have a bachelor’s in computer science, engineering or a related field to enroll. Those who do not yet have an undergraduate degree may want to consider applying to a bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity.

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Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Information security analyst $71,000
Information security specialist $75,000
Information security officer $86,000
Security engineer $89,000
Information security manager $104,000
Security architect, IT $114,000
Chief information security officer $146,000

*per PayScale.com

Cybersecurity professionals work in nearly every industry, including education, finance, oil and gas, health care, entertainment and national defense. Employment opportunities are plentiful in cybersecurity hubs such as Washington, D.C., and California, according to the Washington Post. Most cybersecurity jobs come with high salaries, good perks and flexible schedules.

The average cybersecurity professional makes about $116,000 per year, according to a survey by Semper Secure, a Virginia-based cybersecurity leadership initiative. An information security analyst makes a median salary of $71,000, while an information technology security architect makes a median salary of about $114,000. A chief information security officer makes about $146,000 annually, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

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