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Earning an Online Cyber Security Masters Degree

Cyber Security Masters Degree Online programs offer students the opportunity to study advanced computer networking and computer security measures along with information

technology and social sciences. Currently working IT professionals may find distance-learning more convenient than attending class on campus, since one is often able to study without giving up your job. If you can relate, or live too far to commute, earning your information assurance master’s degree online may be worth considering.

Earning an Online Masters in Information Assurance Degree: Basics

Depending on the master’s in information assurance program, prospective students may need to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in a related background and have some prior work experience. Applicants may also need to turn in undergraduate transcripts and official copies of their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Some master’s programs require a thesis or capstone project and may serve as a springboard to a doctoral degree. You are usually looking at 2 years of study beyond your undergraduate degree.

DID YOU KNOW?

59% of computer and information research scientists have a master’s degree?[i]

What Is Information Assurance?

Information assurance (IA) and cybersecurity are part of the larger umbrella of information security. When you think of data being ”assured” you assume it is safely transmitted, stored, and that its integrity will be protected. IA practitioners are focused on classifying information (assets), performing a risk assessment, and developing a risk management plan that includes countermeasures to either mitigate or eliminate breaches and to ensure that data is transferred safely. This process involves understanding privacy policy, compliance, and regulations, as well as business continuity and computer science. Cyber Security Masters Degree Online programs therefore might allow students to explore either the computer science, forensic science/cyber security, technology, or business management aspects of this interdisciplinary field.

Types of Cyber Security Masters Degree Online Programs

For students considering an Online Masters in Information Assurance (MSIA) Program, choosing which academic degree to pursue may or may not be an easy one. Likely your own background, career ambitions, and the actual curriculum of a program that appeals to you will help guide you. Make sure to request info from the graduate school you are considering. It is important to note that each university may have their own unique courses, and some may offer security niches not covered by others.

The main degrees could be considered as the:

  • MBA (e.g. concentration in information assurance)
  • Master of Science in Information Technology (e.g. concentration in cybersecurity)
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA)

Online MBA / Information Assurance

The Master of Business Administration in Information Assurance combines business courses with computer-related courses. This type of degree program might be a good fit for you if you are seeking career enhancement within your organization. Some organizations prefer to hire MBA graduates to fill positions such as computer and information systems managers, chief technology officers, or chief information officers for instance.[ii]

Online Master of Science in IT / Information Assurance

If you are currently an IT professional, a master of science in information technology in information assurance program might be your perfect academic fit. This type of program often has more of a technical information security computer skills component along with management courses and a concentration in cybersecurity.

Online Master of Science in Information Assurance

If you are interested in the project management or the analytical and technical components of implementing security procedures, this may be a good fit for you. A potential learning outcome in this type of program is to be able to relate IA procedures to the legal aspects of data security, personal identity protection, and computer networking.

A potential MSIA curriculum might include courses such as:

  • Information assurance technology
  • Information assurance history and theory
  • Identity theft protection
  • Computer forensics
  • Computer network security
  • Ethical issues in computer security
  • Computer networking

About Accreditation

In the case of Applied Science, Computing, Engineering, and Engineering Technology programs, the accrediting agency is ABET[iii].

Business programs may be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)[iv], the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP)[v], or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)[vi], depending on what is appropriate.

Why Consider an Online Master’s in IA Program?

With the advances in educational technology, many self-motivated working students may find that an online master’s in information assurance program offers more flexibility that commuting to campus. Usually your courses are delivered through a Web portal and you have 24/7 access. Some programs do have onsite requirements, whether in the form of evenings, weekends, or intensives. One of the best things to do is read the narratives or contacts the university directly if you are unsure about the format.

Take the Next Step

Whether you are hoping to potentially boost a current career or are on the path of continued education, an increasing number of computer and information technology fields are seeking candidates with a graduate degree, possibly a Cyber Security Masters Degree Online.[vii] With the alarming rise of cyber threats, individuals, businesses, and governments are relying on experienced professionals with management, leadership, analytic, and technical computer skills.[viii]

Whatever your preference, take the next step. Review our sponsored online master’s in information assurance programs and find one that aligns with your ambitions!


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1111.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm[iii] abet.org |[iv] aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-members |[v] acbsp.org |[vi] iacbe.org/accreditation.asp | bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm | bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.htm |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-network-architects.htm |