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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Computer Security

Majors Overview July 14, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in computer security and their coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Master’s Programs in Computer Security

Coursework in a master’s degree program in computer security is devised to prepare graduates for careers that require them to protect and maintain the information of an organization from cyber attacks. Computer security specialists involve themselves in the installation of security software and monitoring of networks for breaches.

Specialty concentrations, such as wireless and networking, Internet and eCommerce, or banking and financial security are typically available in these programs. Advanced technology is covered in coursework, accompanied by software security, network security, Unix programming, and computer forensics. Students usually get a thesis option. These courses are offered online at some schools. Master’s programs in computer security vary in duration, but students can complete most programs within 1-2 years. Information systems security professionals can also volunteer for professional certification.

Coursework

Students enrolled in most programs are offered a thesis option whereby they can gain research experience to augment core coursework and required electives. Coursework includes advanced technology, in addition to implementation and general security issues. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Software security
•Computer security
•Network security
•Analytical methods
•Data and computer communications
•Advanced Unix Programming
•Advanced algorithms
•Software Engineering
•Risk, analysis, and vulnerability
•Computer forensics

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 37% has been predicted for information security analysts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The growth is due to the greater investment by firms in new technologies and an increased demand for information security. In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $86,170 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Program graduates may seek professional certification in the form of the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential offered through the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. Program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll in Computer Security Ph.D. programs that could lead to a career in research or academia. Coursework in a Ph.D. program is devised to impart students a comprehensive grasp of the application and research of information systems.

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