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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Network Security

Majors Overview July 16, 2015

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

Master’s Programs in Network Security

Schools usually offer network security master’s degree programs as specializations within a computer science master’s degree program. Coursework is devised to help students identify and mitigate network security risks. Students get network infrastructure components to work with, such as intrusion detection software, firewalls, and router configuration. The curriculum also explores the latest computer forensics tools that are used to identify and prosecute information theft. Students take 1-2 years to complete these programs that schools offer in both the distance learning and traditional formats. A graduate thesis is a degree requirement in most master’s degree programs in network security. Graduates can seek voluntary industry certifications.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree program in information technology-related majors, apart from submitting all graduate and undergraduate transcripts along with letters of recommendation, graduate test scores, and admissions essays. Applicants to some programs are also required to have industry certifications, such as those that Microsoft and Cisco offer.

Coursework

As in the case of other graduate degree programs, coursework in a master’s degree program in network security is topically focused without many elective requirements. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Artificial intelligence
•Information system ethics
•Cryptography
•Logic and Probability
•Database systems

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 12% has been predicted for network and computer systems administrators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $72,560 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Few schools, if any, offer doctoral programs in network security. Program graduates seeking continued education may pursue doctoral degrees in related fields, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Information Security and Assurance. Regardless of whether they pursue a doctorate, network security professionals can obtain industry standard certification and attend continuing education seminars offered by trade organizations and software vendors. Students may get better employment and job promotion opportunities through these programs.

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