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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Cyber Security

Majors Overview July 7, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in cybersecurity and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Cyber Security

There is a need to safeguard digital information against unauthorized access – the branch of computer technology that is concerned with fulfilling this need is cyber security, also called computer or information security. Computer security professionals can gain the knowledge and skills necessary for protecting computer networks, computers and electronic infrastructures from external and internal security threats by enrolling in master’s degree programs in cybersecurity.

Program coursework covers both the practical and theoretical components of information security, including software and hardware engineering, file and system integrity, and computer forensics. Students enrolled in nearly every master’s degree program in this field are required to defend a graduate thesis. Schools offer these programs in both traditional classroom settings and distance learning formats. Program graduates can seek senior security positions in education, industry, and governmental offices. They may also opt for doctoral-level education.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited school, preferably in computer security or a related field. In some schools, applicants for admission are required to have prior security work experience. Schools may also insist on the submission of letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and an admissions essay.

Coursework

An interdisciplinary approach is in many of these programs, which feature courses from various departments, including engineering, information technology, and criminology. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Cryptography
•LAN/WAN security
•Introduction to cyber-terrorism
•Information systems security
•Firewalls and proxies

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 37% has been predicted for information security analysts, computer network architects and Web developers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $86,170 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education by enrolling in doctoral programs in computer security. Those already working in cyber security may volunteer for professional certification to stay abreast of the constantly changing IT industry. Hardware and software vendors offer certification programs that can boost promotion or employment opportunities.

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