Online Master’s Degree in Information Security and Assurance – This article will assist you in sorting through the various options for an online master’s degree in information security and information assurance.
Has your cyber-security career reached a stalemate? For some cybersecurity experts, upward mobility may begin to wane after five years or more out of undergraduate school.
Even with constant refreshment and updating of skills and knowledge through new professional certifications, many people may eventually need to get further degrees in order to continue their upward growth and achieve their goals. There is a growing demand for people with advanced skills and education, as the demand for cybersecurity specialists far outnumbers the supply of experienced specialists.
Obtaining a master’s degree in information security may be the key to opening up new employment opportunities for individuals. As the number of cybersecurity master’s programmes has increased in recent years, so have the alternatives for prospective students. Online masters programmes abound for busy workers who don’t have the time to commit to a campus-based masters programme.
Online Master’s Degree in Information Security and Assurance
After deciding to pursue a master’s degree, one of the first decisions to make is whether to do it through a traditional campus programme or through an online education platform. Obviously, this will be determined by the amount of time students are willing or able to dedicate to their education, as well as the availability of a suitable campus programme at a reasonable distance of home. Some people, on the other hand, study best in a traditional classroom, and campus-based formats are usually the best option for them.
There are dozens of excellent educational choices available online. The primary benefit of online courses is the convenience for students.
While asynchronous online programmes are the most convenient, synchronous programmes still have benefits over campus-based programmes. Due to the absence of the commute associated with classroom-based courses, both types of online certification courses reduce the amount of time required to finish a master’s degree.
Because synchronous programmes have predetermined times for class instruction and, in many cases, student discussion, time and scheduling flexibility is limited.
Asynchronous programmes, on the other hand, are frequently available with no time constraints, allowing students to choose their own schedules and progress at their own pace. While online education has a tainted reputation in the past, high-quality courses from high-quality universities are now widely available and rapidly expanding.
What does a Master’s of Information Security mean for Cybersecurity Careers?
Aside from the knowledge obtained, workers who earn a master’s degree in information assurance can expect to have a far broader range of employment alternatives, as well as a higher pay scale.
A master’s degree can open up several new paths, making it possible for every individual professional to find a fit that enables them to excel and contribute in their own way.
More technically advanced cybersecurity employment, advances up the corporate ladder, and possibly employment in education, research, and consultancy are all examples of alternative career options.
More specifically, the following is a list of just a few of the job titles that a master’s in information security can lead to.
- Network architect
- Database administrator manager
- Information security analyst
- Information security engineer
- Information security manager
- Risk management specialist
- Chief information security officer
Earning Potential of a Master’s of Information Security Degree
It’s impossible to quantify how much a master’s degree will boost a cybersecurity professional’s earning potential. This is due to the large number of positions accessible to persons with bachelor’s degrees, as well as the vast range of professional options open to those with master’s degrees.
In most circumstances, comparing apples to oranges would be futile. The bottom line is that obtaining a master’s degree in information security greatly expands your opportunities and earnings potential.
Using some of the aforementioned career options as a guide, we can see that earning well into the six-figure area is not out of the question.
- Network architect $120,000
- Database administration manager $110,000
- Chief Information Security Officer $160,000
- Information security manager $115,000
Online Information Security Masters Degree Programmes
The number of master’s degree programmes in information security offered online is steadily increasing. The quality of these programmes is likewise improving significantly. There are a plethora of additional online masters of information security programmes to choose from. A more comprehensive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
- SANS Technology Institute
- Arizona State University
- Purdue University Global
- Southern New Hampshire University
- New York University
Five Steps for Choosing an Online Master’s of Information Security Programme
- Requirements for submitting an application/admission Each college or university that offers master’s degrees in information security has its unique set of admissions standards. A bachelor’s degree is required for all master’s programmes, and some require it to be in a technical field or even computer science. Other prerequisites may include a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, as well as GRE test results, but GRE test waivers are sometimes granted provided certain other prerequisites are met. A personal goal statement, personal and work references, a current resume, and college transcripts are usually the only other minimal application requirements. Pay attention to each school’s requirements to see if you’ll need more time, classwork, certifications, or other things to get in.
- Scholarships and tuition Of course, while choosing a school, affordable tuition is a necessary. However, financial aid from the institution, private scholarship sources, and even government groups seeking to boost the cybersecurity workforce can all help to reduce the overall cost. Of course, there are also government-sponsored and private education loans accessible.
- Reputation of the school, course quality, and course availability – It’s always better to choose from institutions with the finest reputation among cybersecurity specialists to get the most out of an investment of time and money in study. Specific courses and concentrations are different from one school to the next.
- CAE certifications from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency Perhaps the most interested entities in generating the science and resources needed to execute the most extensive, advanced, and comprehensive cybersecurity operations anywhere are US government intelligence agencies. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are co-sponsoring a programme named National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense to encourage cybersecurity education (CAE-CD). Choosing an NSA-approved university ensures that the programme will be of the greatest quality. Graduates will also have a better chance of landing jobs with federal spy agencies.
- Faculty and thesis research possibilities The thesis is an important aspect of any master’s degree. It is not necessary to decide on a certain topic and concentration before beginning the programme. However, it should be possible to know that faculty members and other related resources are available to help a student select and complete the greatest thesis feasible.
Financial Assistance for Online Masters in Information Security Degrees
Information security master’s degree scholarships are available from a variety of sources, many of which are common to all master’s degrees. There are a number of scholarship options available for those interested in the cybersecurity field. The following are some examples of these:
- The US Navy’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program is open to both men and women on a scholarship-for-service basis.
- The National Science Foundation offers funding to cybersecurity students through its Scholarship for Service programme. After graduation, scholarship recipients must work for a federal, state, municipal, or tribal government agency or an approved SFS institution for the duration of the award.
- (ISC)2 offers a Center for Cyber Safety and Education for women.
- Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) is a $8,000 scholarship provided by Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA) and CRA-WP Raytheon for women studying cybersecurity.
- Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) — for civilians and military officers in the Air Force.
Information assurance majors can apply for the Snort Scholarship, which is sponsored by Cisco.
- DHS – The Department of Homeland Security is interested in all aspects of security, notably cybersecurity, and offers various scholarship programmes.
Individual schools may also have scholarships and grants available. Always check with the college’s financial aid office to see what choices are available.
A List of Online Masters in Information Assurance Programmes
Up-to-date information is included in the following list of online master’s degree programmes in information assurance/information security. It isn’t a ranking in any sense of the word. It is instead supplied to provide education options to people interested in pursuing a master’s degree through online programmes, as well as a comparison point between the various options.