A Planning Guide for a Master Degree in Cybersecurity

degree in cybersecurity

Master Degree in Cybersecurity Guide – A cybersecurity master’s degree is useful for people who want to specialize in a specific area of the industry, or for analysts and engineers who are already employed in the field and want to improve their leadership or management skills.

A master’s degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership is available at the University of San Diego, for example. Other cybersecurity business and management programs and degrees can be found at a number of colleges.

One growing trend in the master’s of cybersecurity domain is that more and more name-brand institutions are offering cybersecurity graduate degrees in online or hybrid formats, which require some on-campus time but enable students to complete coursework remotely.

MA in cyber security (Master Degree in Cybersecurity Guide)

Cybersecurity master’s degree process at a glance

    1. Investigate The first step in selecting the best cybersecurity master’s degree program is to investigate all of the choices. This entails making a list of the different types of programs available, as well as internship/mentorship/career resources, scholarship opportunities, entrance requirements, online vs. campus-based… the list goes on and on The good news is that this guide is an excellent place to begin your study.
    2. Exams are a must. Completing needed admission tests such as the GRE or GMAT is one aspect of the cybersecurity graduate degree process that requires some planning and preparation. Many (but definitely not all) graduation programs need a test score as part of the admissions process. Keeping track of which schools need test scores and the chosen test format during the research process is a good idea. Additionally, test preparation should be included as part of the planning process, whether as part of a formal program or by individual analysis.
    3. Fill out an application Make a note of each school’s admissions process, paying special attention to programs that accept applications on a rotating basis or have strict deadlines. Some schools use standardized applications, and others have their own set of standards. GRE/GMAT test scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts showing satisfactory completion of undergraduate work, including any prerequisite courses in science, math, or technology, are often required.
    4. Make a strategy. Prospective cybersecurity master’s degree students can prepare accordingly after meeting the application criteria to ensure a good graduate school experience. Financial aid/scholarships, as well as living/work arrangements, are among the things that must be planned.
    5. One of the most important benefits of enrolling in a specialized graduate degree program is that it enables students to quickly and efficiently develop a professional network that can provide a significant return on investment over the course of their careers. As a result, networking and career advice should be an integral part of every cybersecurity master’s degree program. When evaluating various graduate programs, look for things like career advisor availability, hosted networking or career-related activities, and invitations to events like conferences or company-hosted gatherings.

Cybersecurity master’s degree admission requirements

Many cybersecurity master’s degree programs were created for people with a cybersecurity background, or at the very least, a technical background, such as computer science or math.

Cybersecurity master’s degree programs are increasingly expanding to include students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than computer science and engineering.

For example, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering offers an alternate track to applying for their cybersecurity master’s degree, which includes taking the Cybersecurity Bridge Program or other preparatory courses before enrolling in the master’s program.

Although the content of master’s degree programs in cybersecurity varies, most have similar admissions criteria.

Students who want to pursue a master’s degree in cybersecurity generally need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate degree in a technical field. Many people who work in cybersecurity have studied math or computer science as a subject in school.

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Applicants to cybersecurity master’s degree programs typically have several semesters of advanced college math under their belt. They are also knowledgeable in computing theory, machine, and network design, and have worked with a variety of computer programming languages.

Part-time cybersecurity master’s degree programs

Flexibility is a growing theme in cybersecurity master’s degree program offerings. Part-time technical graduate degree programs are becoming more widely available, including at tier-one universities such as Harvard and Berkeley.

Another important trend in the cybersecurity master’s degree program room is that programs are now providing both conventional campus-based and online cybersecurity master’s degree programs, giving prospective students a variety of choices.

Working professionals, students with family obligations, and people who are not located close to the program they are interested in pursuing can all pursue a master’s degree in cybersecurity thanks to the versatility of campus-based, online, or hybrid programs.

Example cybersecurity master’s degree coursework

So, what classes are included in a cybersecurity master’s degree program? The majority of degree programs combine highly specialized cybersecurity topics with management and leadership-related courses.

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“Right now, the job market in cybersecurity is out of control. It’s unbelievable how great the demand is, but the student feedback I get when they do interviews is employers want to know, ‘What projects did you work on?’ Because everyone’s done coursework.”

— Drew Hamilton, professor, and director of the Center for Cyber Innovation at Mississippi State.

Here are some examples of the types of courses a student pursuing a cybersecurity master’s degree could take:

Cybersecurity management Students will learn about some of the legal and compliance challenges that companies face when coping with cybersecurity threats in a course like this. Ethics, crisis prevention and management, and a broad variety of security-related issues will all be covered.

Forensics Digital forensics is a rapidly expanding area, especially in cybersecurity circles. Digital forensics is the process of using software to reverse engineer cyberattacks after they have occurred or to trace threats back to their source. The ability to understand and lead digital forensics teams is becoming increasingly important as cyberattacks grow more complex and originate from a variety of sources.

Network security While the majority of cybersecurity master’s students will come to graduate school with network security expertise and education, a master’s degree course will prepare students to lead network security teams and recognize the current challenges that security teams face, as well as security protocol implementation.

How much is tuition for a cybersecurity master’s program?

A cybersecurity master’s degree will cost a lot of money depending on a lot of things.

Cybersecurity master’s degree programs are available in a variety of formats, including online, on-campus, and hybrid. Some campus-based programs can be more costly in terms of tuition and other related expenses, but they may also include resources such as career services or other types of coaching and mentoring, which are essential factors to consider in a graduate degree’s cost-benefit analysis.

According to U.S. News and World Report, a master’s in cybersecurity degree typically requires 30 to 36 credit hours and costs between $565 and $1,940, putting the total cost of a cybersecurity master’s degree between $17,000 and $70,000.

The career outlook for master’s in cybersecurity degree holders

The demand for well-trained and skilled cybersecurity professionals is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. In reality, businesses and large organizations are concerned that they will not be able to fill all of the cybersecurity roles that exist or will exist.

So, in some respects, a master’s degree in cybersecurity may be a worthwhile investment for mid-career professionals or people looking to transition into the cybersecurity sector, since job opportunities would be open, according to all of the projected data.

So, what kind of job can you get with a master’s in cybersecurity?

Officer in charge of defense A chief security officer’s job in the sense of cybersecurity is to advise and strategize with a company’s or organization’s executive team on the computer, network, and data security best practices. The day-to-day responsibilities of a chief security officer can vary greatly depending on the business model, the size of the company, and the sector in which it operates.

Manager of knowledge Within a corporation or organization, an information manager often develops and operates information systems. Depending on the needs of the business or organization, this position may take the form of a hands-on tactician or a more strategic supervisor. Depending on the scope and business practices of the hiring company, information managers can work on hardware, network, or data infrastructure.

Architect for protection A security architect is in charge of conducting a thorough threat evaluation of a company or organization. A security architect designs and develops the appropriate technologies and operating procedures to insulate against attack vectors once the threat inventory is complete.

A complete listing of master’s in cybersecurity programs

The following guide is dedicated to providing students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity with the most detailed information possible. Please keep in mind that this is not a rating system; rather, it is a current list of available cybersecurity master’s programs.

Best Cybersecurity Masters Programs

School Location Link to Program Website
Air Force Institute of Technology Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio Master of Science degree with a major in Cyber Operations
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona M.S. in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona Master of Computer Science – Cybersecurity
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery, Alabama Master of Science in Computer Information Systems & Cybersecurity
Boston College Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance
Boston University Boston, Massachusetts Master of Science in Criminal Justice with Concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity
Boston University Boston, Massachusetts MS in Computer Science with Specialization in Cyber Security
Brown University Providence, Rhode Island Executive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS)
California State Polytechnic University – Pomona Pomona, California Master of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security Career Focus
California State University – Dominguez Hills Carson, California Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCY)
California State University – San Bernardino San Bernardino, California Master of Science – National Security Studies – Cybersecurity Concentration
California State University – San Bernardino San Bernardino, California Master of Public Administration – Cyber Security Concentration
California State University – San Bernardino San Bernardino, California Master of Business Administration – Cybersecurity Focus
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences – Cybersecurity Specialization
Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina Master of Science in Computer Engineering – Cybersecurity
College of Charleston Charleston, South Carolina Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences – Cybersecurity Specialization
Columbus State University Columbus, Georgia Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences – Cybersecurity Specialization
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, New York Cybersecurity Management (MS)
Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, Florida Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering
Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison, New Jersey M.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida Master of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Major
Friends University Wichita, Kansas Master of Science in Cyber Security
George Washington University Washington, District Of Columbia BA/BS in Computer Science / MS in Cybersecurity in Computer Science
George Washington University Washington, District Of Columbia Master of Science in Cybersecurity in Computer Science
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Master of Science in Computer Information Sciences – Cyber Security
Hood College Frederick, Maryland Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, Illinois Master of Cyber Forensics and Security Program
Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin Master of Science in Computing: Information Assurance and Cyber Defense
Marymount University Arlington, Virginia Master of Science in Information Technology – Cybersecurity Concentration
Michigan Technological University Houghton, Michigan Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Mississippi State University Mississippi State, Mississippi M.S. in Cyber Security and Operations
Missouri State University – Springfield Springfield, Missouri Master’s in Cybersecurity
Morgan State University Baltimore, Maryland Master of Engineering in Cyber Engineering
New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, New Jersey Master of Science in Cyber Security and Privacy (MS CSP)
North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, North Carolina Master of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Oakland University Rochester Hills, Michigan Master of Science in Cyber Security
Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus University Park, Pennsylvania MS in Information Systems and Technology – Cybersecurity Focus
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey Master of Business & Science – Cybersecurity Concentration
Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Connecticut MS – Cybersecurity
Saint Peter’s University Jersey City, New Jersey Masters of Science in Cyber Security
Salve Regina University Newport, Rhode Island M.S. in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security – Cybersecurity and Intelligence Concentration
San Jose State University San Jose, California Master of Science in Software Engineering – Cybersecurity Concentration
St. Bonaventure University St. Bonaventure, New York Early Assurance BS/MS Cybersecurity
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Master of Science (MS) in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber-Security
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Professional Science Master’s in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance
Texas A&M University – College Station College Station, Texas Master of Engineering in Engineering – Cybersecurity specialization
The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Master of Science in Computer Engineering – Cybersecurity
The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Master of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, Texas Master of Science Degree in Information Technology – Cyber Security Concentration
University of Advancing Technology Tempe, Arizona Master of Science in Cyber Security
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama M.S. in Cyber Security
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama Master of Science in Cybersecurity
University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona AZSecure Cybersecurity Fellowship Program (MS-MIS)
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, Connecticut M.S. in Technology Management – Information and Cyber Security Management Concentration
University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, Missouri Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado Master of Science in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy
University of Denver Denver, Colorado MS Cybersecurity
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, Michigan Master of Science in Information Assurance Major in Cybersecurity
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign Champaign, Illinois Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering – Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program
University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas Master of Science in Information Technology – Cyber Security Focus
University of Maryland – Baltimore County Baltimore, Maryland Master in Professional Studies: Cybersecurity
University of Maryland – College Park College Park, Maryland Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity
University of Missouri-Saint Louis Saint Louis, Missouri Master of Science (M.S) in Cybersecurity
University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, Nebraska Master of Science in Cybersecurity
University of New Haven West Haven, Connecticut Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Networks
University of North Texas Denton, Texas Masters in Cybersecurity
University of San Diego San Diego, California Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering
University of the Pacific Stockton, California Master of Science in Cybersecurity
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma Master of Science in Cyber Security
University of Washington – Bothell Campus Bothell, Washington Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering
University of Washington – Tacoma Campus Tacoma, Washington Master in Cybersecurity and Leadership (MCL)
Utah Valley University Orem, Utah Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, Indiana Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia MS and PhD in Computer Science with Cybersecurity Track
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia MEng, MS, and PhD in Computer Engineering with Cybersecurity Track
Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, Missouri Master’s in Cyber Security Management
Webster University Saint Louis, Missouri Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
Wright State University Celina, Ohio Master of Science in Cyber Security
Yeshiva University New York, New York Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.