This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Information Assurance and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Information Assurance
Students enrolled in this MS degree program are given a solid basis in confidentiality, computer security, data distribution and data storage. Students learn about network security, risk management, information assurance theory and cryptology in the currently employed systems. Specializations, such as policy management and cyber security, are often available in schools. Program graduates can seek various IT leadership roles. Students often take two years to complete these programs.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, in addition to supplying an official transcript of all postsecondary coursework. Often, students may be required to submit a written statement of purpose. Submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores is an expectation of international students. Prospective students are also required to submit letters of recommendation from supervisors or professors, and in some instances, from an employer.
Coursework typically incorporates 32-36 credit, or semester hours and students can complete it in two years. Students learn about the key concepts of information assurance and ways of implementing technology in resolving threats. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Secure enterprise management
•Information systems forensics
•Ethics and privacy
•Systems protection and security
•Information technology research
Job and Wage Outlook
Students may avail many job opportunities in the diverse field of information assurance. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a high job growth rate of 37%, driven by a growing frequency of cyber attacks, has been predicted for information security analysts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $86,170.
Continuing Education Choices
Program graduates may seek continuing education by enrolling in doctoral degree programs that could lead to careers in research or teaching. They may volunteer for professional certification in order to stay updated with new technology and advancements. Some schools offer these programs online.